Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A birthday treat

I didn't really get to finish my last post, Skype intervened. I love my chats with friends and family. They keep me grounded, knowing there are people out in the world who think of me as I think of them. I will return to the story soon and for now here are a couple more photos from my time on and around Lake Titicaca. It was funny, I was going to take this out of my itinerary and decided to take a couple of extra days of leave so I could leave it in, an excellent choice. 

While the celebrations in the photo below were not actually in honour of my birthday, I celebrated along with the people of AmantanĂ­ at their special celebration. I felt very privileged to able to watch, hopefully unobtrusively. They had a type of May pole set up with ribbons and danced around these for the entertainment of the elders and dignitaries who were seated alongside the village square in the shade. Our guide explained the significance of how they were dressed, the clothing and tightly knitted belts and hats, denoting their place within the community. 

Their marital status was declared by the belts they had knitted that contained within it the hair of their wives. Knitting is a highly prized skill and a man must show his prospective father in law his knitting in order to be approved as a husband. The quality of the knitting really counts. As the other picture shows the men are the main providers of the most amazing knitted goods. I don't think I saw many men there who were not knitting as they chatted with each other. The women manned the stalls. I bought Noah and Eve a hat each, not sure if they will wear them, they are a work of art so worthy of sharing.

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