Visit to the Amaru community

Authored by:
Colleen Deemer

Yesterday we traveled into the mountains above Pisac to visit a traditional community known as Amaru.  In Quechua, Amaru means snake, a symbol of Mother Nature. This afternoon will probably remain as one of the highlights from our trip.  

Upon our arrival, we were warmly greeted by all the members of the community--with hugs and a necklace of Cantuta flowers. The Cantuta was a sacred flower of the Incas, used in many rituals and given as a sign of respect.  It is also the national flower of Peru. 

This community has a long traditional of textile making.  Techniques for hand-spun yarn, natural dyes derived from local plants, and weaving are passed down from generation to generation.  

The community later dressed us up in traditional garnments--from hats, to ponchos, and skirts.  It was a fun way for us feel a part of the  community.

After learning more about weaving, we were invited to join them in dancing and home-cooked potatoes.  We learned that it is estimated that there are almost 4,000 varieties of poatatoes native to the Andean region!  Each has a dsitinct flavor and properties.

At the end we thanked our hosts for all their hospitatility and for a memorable afternoon.  In Quechua, thank you is "Urpillay Sonqollay"--literally, like doves from my heart.  A beautiful way to express our gratitude. 


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