An encounter with artisans and the art of preserving tradition
It was a cloudy day, a typical winter morning in the city of Lima. Leticia had some free time. They had told her that there is a well-known craft fair called Ruraqmaki. She and Carla got ready to start the day but not before leaving the luggage packed since the next day they would travel to Cusco.
While walking through the fair they got aware of a poncho with a series of picturesque images. Its colors, shapes and softness made them curious and they got closer to the stand to talk to the artisans. Leticia told them that she was about to travel to Cusco. So, they recommended to her that she should visit the Qaytu community located two hours from Cusco.
Adventure in Cusco
The next morning, Leticia and Carla, enthusiastic about the adventure, arrived in Cusco. They had a delicious breakfast typical of the Peruvian Sierra and after that they went to their destination. The Qaytu community is two hours from Cusco, between the border of the Sierra and the jungle, near Aguas Calientes.
The artisans received them with great affection, above all, a lot enthusiasm. When consulting about the characteristics of their work, they told them that the fabrics maintain the habit of representing the day-to-day routine. They display a universe of stories that express the traditions of the people of Perú. Its various artisan lines preserve the memory of each town.
Furthermore, Leticia and Carla discovered that this community had been awarded by Unesco thanks to their work and their mission to preserve the Inca cultural tradition throughout the textile process. For example, the designs are related to Inca and regional iconography. In addition, Its embroidery represents daily life in the mountains. Its fabrics preserve the textile tradition of Cusco and the images symbolize its most precious stories.
The last day
While having lunch, the community member told them extraordinary stories about his city, for example the story of the bear that builds its hammock among the trees and devours its prey.
At the end, in the middle of the meeting, a peculiar smell interrupted the conversation. Leticia asked: What is it that smells so good? It is the aji de la Sierra, a typical delicacy of the mountains, replied the craftsman.