The Lord of the Camelids

The relationship between herders and llamas is expressed in a figure that is half-man, half animal and appears to be a spirit linked to llama fertility, freshwater springs, and rain.

This supernatural being is often represented sitting or standing, dressed in a tunic or overskirt with rays emanating from his head. In general, his hands and feet were divided, perhaps in emulation of the camelid’s feet, which end in two large toenails. His image appears frequently in the rock art of the region as well as on portable objects such as textiles and baskets.