Through a richly detailed examination of the practices of spinning yarn from the fleece of llamas and alpacas, Earth, Water, Fleece and Fabric explores the relationship that herders of the present and of the past have maintained with their herd animals in the Andes. Dransart juxtaposes an ethnography of an Aymara herding community, based on more than ten years fieldwork in Isluga in the Chilean highlands, with archaeological material from excavations in the Atacama desert.
Impeccably researched, this book is the first systematic study to set the material culture of pastoral communities against an understanding of the long-term effects of herding practices.
'There is a great deal to learn from careful reading of this important work.' - Textile History
' … the book as a whole with its wealth of information, accuracy and detail … is the sort of book that should be on essential reading lists and will stay there. It will not go out of fashion as theoretical trends come and go.' - Maggie Bolton, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
'This is a gem of a book.' - British Bulletin of Publications