Monday, January 7, 2013

Hunting Vicuñas

Bolivia Vicuna
Mike Theiss/Getty Images

Time Magazine, in their online World edition, has published an article about hunting wild vicuñas in Bolivia. Jean Friedman-Rudovsky is the author, and she tells an amazing story about how the world's most valuable natural fiber is obtained. Vicuñas, Alpacas, Guanacos and Llamas make up the South American camelids, although their classification is problematic because they can all interbreed. Alpaca fibers make soft and warm garments, and vicuña even more so. The article closes with an excellent contrast between the Bolivians who catch and shear the animals for about $7.50 per day, and the woolens that are manufactured and sold in boutiques in Europe.

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