The Gold Of The Andes
We are highly inspired by this story of The Inouie Brothers participating in The Chaccu, the Incan ceremony of solidarity, to harvest as the Incas believed the finest material created by Pacha Mama. In the eyes of the original inhabitants of the Andes the Vicuña animals were reincarnations of young maidens, rewarded with a coat of pure gold in return for giving life to their civilisation. They called it “The Gold Of The Andes”.
Since 2004 Satoru and Kiyoshi Inoue, of Japanese heritage but born and raised in Copenhagen, have specialized in the finest knitwear, using Alpaca and Vicuña wool from the Andean Mountains of Peru. Through their many journeys to the Andean plateau, searching for the finest fibre in the world, The Inoue Brothers were fortunate enough to encounter a large variety of communities and extraordinary individuals.
A pleasant endeavour finally brought them to the Puno region in southern Peru some 5 years after their first visit to South America. It was here where they met local anthropologist Alonso Burgos. He was amongst the pioneers who re-introduced the ancient Chaccu ceremony to the indigenous people as a socially engaging, sustainable model for community building. For in the end it was these groups who had lived alongside the sacred Vicuña for more than ten thousand years.
Great efforts have been made by Andean and international authorities to protect the vicuña from poachers. In the early 1990s, social initiatives to help reestablish the tradition of Chaccu were initiated by Alonso and his team. The indigenous communities were able to once again carry out Chaccus, which had become little more than a distant myth. Various ceremonies are now once more being held around the protected Zonas de Vicuñas, involving many close-knit communities coming together to carry out the shearing of the extraordinary fibre in exact accordance with their ancient tradition.
The beautifully shot short film was made in a collaboration between Present Plus and mb! by Mercedes Benz, directed by Roby Kikic and Joppe Rog. For more information on what the brothers experienced during their journey: see here.