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Re: Llamas

Poster: "Ed Hopkins" <Ed.Hopkins@MCI.Com>

> I have recently obtained a bag of Llama hair/wool from a friend (which 
> could become a continuous free source if I were interested).  If I make 
> something from this, it might be really cool if I could document it. I 
> was wondering if anyone has stumbled upon period, EUROPEAN accounts of 
> Llamas and/or stuff made from their hair. [...]

I don't know how much of this applies to llamas, but here's what
I found at http://www.alpacanet.com/history.html:

   For several thousand years, the Incas domesticated and
   selectively bred Alpacas to produce a surprisingly large array of
   colors and a very fine, dense fiber. During this time, Alpaca
   fiber was virtually a secret from the rest of the world. Garments
   made from Alpaca fiber were reserved for royalty. Peasants caught
   wearing Alpaca clothing were punished, sometimes even killed.

   In the 1600's, when the Spanish conquistadors invaded South
   America, Alpacas were pushed to higher elevations because
   Spaniards wanted available grazing lands for their beloved merino
   sheep. However, in the mid-1800's, Alpaca fiber was "discovered"
   by Europeans when an English textile merchant, Sir Titus,
   realized its marvelous qualities.
   Alpacas make a variety of sounds such as clicks and snorts but
   are best known and loved for their humming. They make this
   humming sound in a variety of situations such as when separated
   from their herd, when one female gives birth, the other pregnant
   mothers may hum to the delivering mother and new cria, and when
   grazing, they hum in different tones.

I hope this helps.

-- Alfredo

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