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Brown Alpaca Ornament

Contemporary Handmade

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Peru

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PROVENANCE

The alpaca is a South American camelid that lives in the heights of the Andes, more than 13,000 feet above sea level. The animal was revered in Inca times and possessed a religious significance; only royalty were allowed to wear the fine textile. The alpaca was almost wiped out by the Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century in order to create grazing land for sheep. However, due to their resilience against harsh weather conditions, some herds were able to survive in the high Andes. In the 19th century, a renewed interest in alpaca fiber and textiles led to a revival of the alpaca in Peru. Today, alpaca herds are bred specifically for their fiber, woven into the signature Peruvian textile.