Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hat Story

It's the low season now in Cusco, very quiet, very few tourists, days of rain and tranquility.
My favorite time to be here, though the locals hate it because their income takes a steep dive.

A few months back, during the high season, I made a face and mentioned to a street vendor friend in San Blas that there were far too many tourists in Cusco. Of course, I want to be the only one.

My friend, a Q'ero who sells chunllos, or Andean woven caps, shook his head sadly at my ignorance. He took one of his woven caps and pointed out its elaborate multi-colored texture. "See this hat," he said. "This hat needs all of its colors to be what it is, and all of the colors need each other. "

Well, shut my mouth, I thought.

Besides, without the entire hat, full of its colors and complexity, your head would get pretty damned cold.

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