chapter  4
19 Pages

Flowers of the herds: the wayñu ceremony in Isluga

This chapter examines the wayñu, or marking ceremony, which reveals two sets of relationships. First, I consider the relationship between human beings and their domesticated animals, on the one hand, and the land and its pasture, on the other. An important focus is the transformative process in which pasture and water are converted into camelid fleece. The ceremony symbolizes the transformation of pasture into fleece, and this aspect is closely related to the material practices of spinning yarn, plaiting ropes and weaving cloth, which will be discussed further in Chapter 5.