The White City – Arequipa, Peru
The following series of photos were taken at a wool shop in downtown Arequipa. (www.michell.com.pe). I was extremely excited when we stumbled upon this place because I am an avid knitter, and I love to work with natural fibers. (Ilias could care less about knitting and he still thought it was interesting!) The shop has a small exhibit showing how Alpaca yarn is made in Peru, and these are Quecha women demonstrating various weaving techniques.
I will never know how these women were able to make such flawless designs without the use of a pattern. Everything is done from their memories, which is completely amazing to me.
This pictures shows some of the different things used to dye the wool. I focused the shot on the red spindle because I never wanted to forget how the Andean people made red dye. If you look in the bowl, those are dried, dead insects called Cochineals. When these insects are crushed, they release a deep red pigment and this is what’s used to make red yarn. Here’s an article explaining the whole process: www.threadsofperu.com. Interesting, right?
Monastario de Santa Catalina
If you ever have the chance to visit Arequipa, this is one place I feel is a must-see.
Arequipa is often referred to as, “The White City” because much of the architecture is constructed with a local white volcanic rock called, Sillar. This rock was used to create the monastery, and the walls were painted BOLD shades of red and blue. This place is HUGE (over 20,000 square meters!). The entire complex feels like it’s own city, and the paint colors seem to create neighborhoods within it.