Lamas Travel Guide

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Hut at water source in Lamas

Hut at water source in Lamas

Lisa Clark

Lamas is an interesting place where history is still alive in the Lamistas, the Quechua people who were a mountain tribe forced to move to the selva because of the help they gave to the Spaniards to conquer the Inca civilization.  They live in the valley of the town -- the Barrio Wayku -- and maintain the historic way of life.  With almost no marriage outside the tribe, the Lamistas have maintained a pure race of people who still speak their native tongue, Quechua, although some has been mixed with jungle dialects.  The Jungle Quechua is a distinct dialect from the Mountain Quechua now, although some words can be recognized from each.

The museum in Lamas is interesting, but rather small.  For those who like miniatures, they have a room with some cool paper mache dolls in panoramic scenes depicting the culture and life of the Quechua people.  There is an interesting mix of natural and human history there, and the admission is only a couple of soles.  Just a few doors down from the museum is a gift shop with handicrafts made by local people with local materials.  Tourist might find a treasure or two to take home as souvenirs.   

There is also a cool shop where all sorts of alcoholic concoctions can be found -- to produce health benefits according to local tradition.  Every thing from sexual stamina to long life can be expected by those who drink these liquors, or as the local lore would have one to believe.  Those not used to drinking might find it fairly easy to get a buzz with just the free samples, but then one feels obligated to make a purchase.  A nice selection of gifts and artifacts are available there too, like replicas of the little paper mache dolls form the museum displays.

Contributors

December 08, 2006 change by approaching genius (3 points)

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