Llamas have been a popular and versatile livestock animal for centuries in this part of the Chilean Andes. For trekking goods across the rugged landscape, llamas make calm and strong pack animals. Artisans weave the fine, allergen-free llama wool into clothing and bedding. Llama hide can be made into strong shoes and soft, supple leather handbags.
Low cholesterol llama meat is a staple in some Andean diets. In the dry air at high elevation, it is easily cured into tough strips that Andeans call charqui (char-kee). Sound familiar? Charqui is the origin of the English word "jerky." The colorful yarns were tied to these llamas by their owner.