Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu: Stories and Folktales of Inca Life

March 21, 2013

March 21, 2013

I’m in celebration mode. I’ve fulfilled my book contract and my “BEYOND THE STONES” story book will be released in November, 2013. Angel Callañaupa, the Peruvian painter is finishing his very last illustrations. Hurrah.

Now my stories, my characters, will come to life through the written word. I want to show real Inca life today. It’s time to share what I’ve learned these years, based on the frequent trips to Andean villages around Cusco, researching the Incas weaving and, with my husband, serving to help Nilda Callañaupa found the now hugely successful Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. My husband Dave and I worked hard in the early years of CTTC, during our many journeys to Peru and at home striving to give the organization grounding here in the United States.

Incas Life

Inca Life, A Culture STILL at The Top of The World

For the nine months of writing “BEYOND THE STONES,” I locked myself in my (Vermont home) tower for months of writing. I cut out all social activities: a wedding, family occasions, poetry group meetings and the like. But I seldom felt alone, connected to the rich culture of the Andes that never failed to send into my brain images of the dramatic up-and-down landscapes, rich colors and braille-like weaving design textures.

During my time spent in the Andes, I came to learn a lot about Inca life today and to know Inca people and families with whom I’ve kept in touch over many years. In particular we’ve developed close relationships with members of the brilliant and creative Callañaupa-Alvarez family. I’ve also enjoyed many experiences with the kids in Chinchero, enthusiastic young weavers for whom the Center helped start a “Jakima Club” otherwise called “The Childen’s Weaving Group.” (How much Nilda has taught the kids through their weekly weaving get-togethers and their educational field trips arranged by the Center!) I’m also privileged to have two Peruvian godchildren, Elizban and Gabriela, the first of whom Nilda and Paulino named for my husband and me.