Chachapoyan pottery Warriors of the Clouds

Chapter Seven:  Vira Vira

Vira Vira provides a classic example of a self-sufficient "economic archipelago."  Above it are pastures suitable for grazing llamas.   Immediately below it are well-watered fields eminently suited to such tubers as potatoes, as well as to quinoa.  Within striking distance down the Huabayacu valley are hundreds of terraces for cultivating maize, beans, and the precious coca leaves that would have been brought up to dry at Vira Vira before being traded to highland communities across the cordillera.  Farther down the Huabayacu, beyond La Morada, yuca, and tropical fruits would have been available, along with medicinal plants, dyes, pelts, plumage, and other exotic products of the jungle, which were so valuable in Andean commerce. Vira Vira - © Keith Muscutt

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