Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2016

Department 1


Department 2

Center for Global Education


Using a social-anthropological approach, through first-hand experiences living in the field and speaking with the subjects of this study, this paper investigates how the global economic market of alpaca wool has had effect on the traditional cultural practices of alpaca herders in the high Andean communities of Pucará, Peru. The results reveal a loss of traditional Andean herder’s practices and beliefs in the face of modernization, the inequality and exploitation within the wool market, and the influence of western economic ideologies. To preserve cultural practices and enhance the conditions of an alpaca herder, I suggest educating the communities on more efficient modes of production and integrating them into programs and associations. This would better the livelihood of alpaca herders by leading to better health and living conditions, more efficient production that can keep up with the high demand of alpaca wool, and the possibility of reintroducing traditional costume for future generations.


Written as an Independent Study Project during the SIT Study Abroad: Pueblos Indígenas y Globalización in Pucará, Puno, Peru.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.