I found the most incredibly cute fair trade felt coin purses on my new go-to ethical store, Fair Trade Winds. They are hand-felted by a women’s cooperative in Nepal and each of them features a different animal in a variety of poses. So I thought it would be fun to find their real-life counterparts! This is a ‘silly Friday’ post because I’m in the mood for that.
I think these would make the perfect small gifts for kids as well as adults who are in touch with their inner child. Stocking fillers at Christmas springs to mind or a present for an acquaintance on their birthday.
This Happy Llama Purse is particularly interesting. The only time I’ve seen a llama out and about is in a muddy field as part of a petting zoo in England so I was intrigued to find out the story behind the scene depicted on the purse of a llama with a kind of blanket on standing amongst some cacti. Turns out, the llama is native to Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina and holds special significance to communities in Peru especially.
This is due to the fact llamas were used in many different areas of life by the Incas centuries ago, such as for transport, meat, and their fur for blankets and clothes. Llamas are highly social creatures, make great pets and their fur is still used today to make blankets which are sold in many markets in Peru. I did some digging and found one traveller’s account of a llama blessing ceremony in Peru, where he was invited to witness a herd of llamas and their babies being “decorated with flowers & natural colours as prayers are spoken” as “cocoa leaves, incense, feathers, and other items are gathered up in a pouch and burned. Special water is thrown over the tops of the llama herd… At the end of the ceremony, the people dance around the herd with flags and vibrant clothing until all the llamas are released back into the mountains”. You can read the full account here.
The brightly coloured llama costume you see in the pictures above is donned by owners who dress up their llamas in traditional Andean costume for celebratory occasions and also for the benefit of tourists who pay them a tip in exchange for a picture of them and their llama.
I think they look amazing. Anyway, moving on from our Peruvian pitstop…
SO – funnily enough, there aren’t that many pictures out there of a placid little fox with a bird balanced on its tail. That’s not really their style… However, I did find this truly breathtaking photo of the moment a bald eagle in San Juan Island National Park, Washington, attempts to snatch a rabbit a fox has just caught by swooping down and grabbing it in its talons straight out of its mouth! The struggle lasted 8 seconds and ensued 20 feet in the air for photographer Kevin Ebi of LivingWilderness.com to capture it on film. Read the full article here.
I am ALL ABOUT SLOTHS! I love that they take the world at their own pace. I love that they’re known for sleeping and moving slowly as well as being incredibly sweet. It gives me hope my boyfriend looks upon me like that when I don’t get up until 4 PM on the weekend… Some little-known facts I found about sloths:
- Sloths are half blind and half deaf
- They move about 3 feet per minute
- They can take up to 30 days to digest one leaf
- Scientists estimate they make HALF of the rainforest biomass as they are so common in Central and South America
- They can turn their heads up to 270 degrees, looking almost completely behind themselves
- They’re great swimmers
And to finish, a fox cub peaking out from behind a tree! Take a look at all six hand-felted fair trade purses on Fair Trade Winds and browse so many other beautiful fair trade items here.
In Love&Light, MM XOXOX
which Threads of Peru describes as including “layers of bright, colourful traditional Andean clothing… capes, shawls, embroidered skirts, and vibrantly coloured hats”.