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Santa Clara University Archives :: Exhibits :: Urban Dreams / Suenos Urbanos :: Lamas along the Inca trail, El Cumbre
University Archives - Urban Dreams / Suenos Urbanos - Transportation - Lamas along the Inca trail, El Cumbre
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Lamas along the Inca trail, El Cumbre
  Lamas along the Inca trail, El Cumbre, 1991
Synonymous with the Andes, llamas are known around the world for their wool and ability to carry loads on their back (sometimes as heavy as 70 pounds / 31.75 kg per animal). In pre-Columbian times, as in the present, llamas have transported goods from countryside to urban regions, along high Andean paths and more conventional roads. In this image a herd of llamas carry wood from the tropical valleys east of the Andes, up through Aymara villages and over to the mountains to the city of La Paz. This pass is well above 14,000 ft., higher than any peak in the continental USA, and as one can see, well below the surrounding peaks of the area. Unlike horses or cows in similar circumstances, llamas are well adapted to this type of difficult work in the mountains. It is therefore understandable why llamas are such an integral part of transportation in the Andes.
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