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The Amazing New Adventures of Larry and Mark - Peru, Land of the Incas

Chapter 20

 

The locals call Ollantaytambo "Ollanta."  The streets are narrow and

narrower.  The gutter running down the center has been draining

water for 500 years, but I wouldn't want to walk this street during

a heavy rain.

 

Streets open up into blocks of one or more houses.

 

 

 We are invited into this courtyard, which probably hasn't

changed for centuries

 

 

 

Locals call them "cui," and we call them Guinea Pigs.  But they aren't pets -

they are supper.  Cui are a great delicacy in Peru and Ecuador.  I had

it once a few years ago and that was enough. 

 

 

This home has been continually lived in since Inca times.  The walls are covered in soot and the

family's possessions.  Families have to pay annual taxes for the right to bury their dead, so they

maintain the centuries-old tradition of saving their ancestors' skulls, to which they make offerings. 

 

 

 

These are not real animals, but made of spun wool, for good luck.

 

 

This table holds knick-knacks, a cigarette-smoking doll carrying toy cars, cracked corn and

American money. The owner is in hopes of gaining riches and food from this doll. 

Also on the table is a small fortune in artifacts from Inca and older cultures. 

 

 

Grave-robbing is a fact of life in Peru and other South American countries, and much of  the displays of early

civilizations in museums has come from acquisitions originally from grave-robbers, and the information of

source of acquisition or "provenence" is usually lost on these pieces.  There are many weapons,

bowls, and stylized animals here.

 

 

 

 

Next to Willow leaning on the wall is an example of an Inca foot plow.  This may be

 centuries old, or could be still in modern-day production and use.  I didn't know

about this til I got home and started doing research, or I would have asked.

 

 

 

Don't we all hang dried, smoked fish from our ceilings?

They don't need refrigeration that way.

 

 

The kitchen corner is stone and clay, with most of the smoke ending up in the room.

 

 

This carving probably represents Pachacutec.  We will be talking about the design

on his head.  Here's a hint:  the black hole in the center represents Cusco.

 

 

 

 

Next:  Pakaritampu Hotel and more soon!

 

Larry Reich

 

You may reach me with comments:

Laurence Reich

auburndocreich@aol.com 

 

 

 

 

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