I hired a taxi driver to explore Awana Kancha's Museum of Life in the Andes. It was a great way to experience the living arts of the local people.
The first stop was to meet the lively animals that graciously provide the fibers for the fabric.
The best part was, that unlike a zoo, you interact with all of the animals and even convince them to pose for the camera with a little bit of fresh feed.
I saw alpacas, llamas and the rare vicunas along the pathway before moving on to learn about the natural procuring, dying and weaving processes of many of their textile traditions.
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Learning Local Arts at Awana Kancha
Although Machu Picchu was our main reason for visiting the Cuzco region, I really wanted to check out the local weaving community in an environment where I could learn about their work.
Awana Kancha is also a cooperative where you learn about the traditional techniques and then buy high end goods from the weavers in surrounding areas.
I found that the quality and integrity of product is much higher than what I found in souvenir shops in town.
I was really excited by the many colors derived from the natural resources that are still used for dying.
It has inspired me and some of my friends at home to test out our own natural vegetable dying techniques.