Awanakancha – Museo viviente del Ande

In Quechua, Awanakancha  means “The Palace of the Weaver.”  We visited this textile center and museum while in Pisac.  The center provides an opportunity to see products made from South America’s four camelids – alpaca, llama, vicuña, and guanac0 – from start to finish: the animal, the shearing, the textile weaving and dyeing, and the finished products, which you can purchase in the show room.

We spent a few hours at Awanakancha and I found it to be very interesting.  We were able to feed and interact with the alpaca and learn about the different varieties that are raised for their wool.


After feeding the animals, we observed the way the wool is dyed and learned about the different organic materials that are used to produce a variety of color hues.


Afterwards, we watched several men and women weaving textiles on back looms.  It was amazing to see them create such detailed fabrics.  Weaving is an intricate practice; it can take months to complete a table runner or small blanket.  Children start learning to weave at a very young age, practicing on items like bracelets.

Our trip ended, of course, with a visit into the museum’s store where there was an endless variety of textiles for purchase.  They were all so beautiful!  It took me what felt like forever to pick one out.  I finally committed and purchased a wonderful textile that will hang on the wall in my living room.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. kaisywmills
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 16:12:38

    I loved this part of the trip! One llama almost. Chomped my hand off! 🙂


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Chair of Social Science, Humanities,
& Foreign Languages

Liberal Arts & University Transfer
Craven Community College

800 College Court
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252.638.7328
Fax: 252.638.3231

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