Saturday, August 1, 2009

People and Animals of the High Central Andes

During our recent trip from Tarma to Huancavelica (where we did a financial audit), we had a cultural treat. We traveled on Peru's Independence Day, so the highway had its usual herds (watched by herdsmen, herdswomen, and herdschildren) and also parades, dancers, and musicians.

Near a small town at about 12,000 feet above sea level, we stopped for these revelers:

In the foreground you can see some of the dancers, and in the background you can see the musicians. In the upper right, you can see the man in charge, passing out beer. He also directed traffic so that Scott could take pictures!

In this picture, you can see the percussion women and the "trumpeters":

The "trumpets" were long, home-made wooden instruments. The women in the background are standing right on the edge of a 1000-foot cliff (this is normal behavior for people in this mountain region).

A close-up of the "trumpeters":

A close-up of the percussion women in their native hats and traditional costumes:

We loved seeing the baby lambs ...

... and piglets:

We also saw herds of llamas mixed in with the sheep:

Some llamas had ribbons in their ears to identify their owners:

We also saw herds of alpaca (they have finer wool and are shorter and chubbier than llamas):

For comparison, we include this picture of vicuña, which run wild, have ultra-fine wool, and have long, slender necks (however, we didn't see any vicuña on this trip):

This woman swings her whip to keep her herd of sheep and llama moving along the highway:

This little girl swings a whip to let her sheep know who is boss:

Sometimes cattle have colorful ribbons in their ears for identification:

Such amazing sites on the highway between Tarma and Huancayo!

1 comment:

Rusty and Jessica Terry said...

Great pictures. I have never seen a alpaca, they are a little crazy looking.