Sunday, September 26, 2004

Purse lips unsquare mountain

An email prodded me to check out A Picture's Worth, a site featuring contributed photos and text from a lot of people. The concept is David Chin's.

Quickly skimming thumbnails in the September gallery, one caught my eye. Clicking, I saw it was a lovely image taken at Machu Picchu. As much as I loved the image, it was the text that got me going, voicing experiences I had had in Mexico. Here's part of it:

After finishing my archaeological fieldwork in 1997 I visited Machu Picchu, the so-called "lost city" of the Inka. Actually, the only reason it got lost was because the Inka travelled and lived along the tops of mountains, whereas the Spaniards and their descendents lived and travelled along the valley bottoms where they couldn't see it.

Of all my pictures of Inka architecture, this is my favourite. I love the way the lines of the structure's roof mirror the angle of Wayna Picchu, the mountain in the background. I love the narrow footpath that reaches between the buildings and the mountain on which they are built. And I love that the clouds are eye level.

To me, this one shot captures how the Inka lived in the world. Nature and culture slide together until it is virtually impossible to tell them apart. ...

But perhaps the term "landscape" is not entirely applicable, as the land is not considered inanimate. Places on the land are now known as tirakuna, and they watch and interact with people regularly. As Catherine Allen explains, "Tirakuna are not spirits who inhabit the places, but the Places themselves, who live, watch, and have ways of interacting with human beings, plants, and animals that live around and upon them." In the Andes, mountains are related to each other, just as are people. ...

I remember thinking that Western culture tells of places where the gods walk the earth among us; in the Andes, you can't separate one from the others.
It only then that with further delight I realized both photo and text were from the always stimulating Anne Galloway, who also co-produces a blog entitled space and culture. Brava Anne!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of these days I will stop looking on the Internet for purse related sites. It is usually a complete waste of my time. Like on my site, I like to put stuff about purse and then go from there. Anyway, cool site. Keep posting.

12/29/2005 3:39 PM  
Blogger Short Stories said...

I'm into arcahelogical fieldwork too..

9/11/2006 7:59 PM  

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