chapter  5
26 Pages

The transformation of fleece into yarn

Chapters 3 and 4 considered the incorporation of herd animals into the cultural life of Isluga. This process of incorporation makes possible the production of fleece, which plays such an important part in the material culture of the community. Isluga people mediate relations between themselves and their environment through the organizational, ideological and technological aspects of their culture. This is clearly demonstrated by the methods used by the people of Isluga in identifying their llamas and alpacas outlined in Chapter 3. Such classification systems are not only indicative of the social relationships perceived by the people between themselves and the animals (camelids and birds) of their environment, but they are also a good example of what Van Kessel calls Aymara technology (1980: 323; 1988).