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The People Of Peru's Cloud Forest

series: Desert Speaks

air date: 1/20/13 9:30 AM

Beginning in Cajamarca, host David Yetman, geologist Dick Yetman and South American archaeological expert Axel Nielsen head out into the colorful city streets in pursuit of authentic and very distinctive South American hats that are almost as tall as they are wide. This quest takes them past local merchant stalls and through Calle de Cuyes, or guinea pig alley, where locals can purchase skinned and fully dressed guinea pigs to eat. After purchasing some finely woven hats, the brothers head to a museum in Leimebamba that houses the ancestors of the Chachapoyas who were mummified and enclosed within wooden sarcophagi. Yetman and Nielsen inspect some the museum's pottery, jewelry and a counting system created by the Incas based on knots. They are also allowed the amazing privilege of examining one of the mummies up close. The crew then treks to Kuelap to find the archeological ruins of the Chachapoyas. Kuelap, a place some believe that might one day rival Machu Pichu in its importance, displays a massive system of defensive walls strategically placed on a hilltop, an active archeological site with human remains, artifacts and areas that were once sacred to the people of Peru's Cloud Forest.

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