By the same authors


Research output: Book/ReportBook



Publication details

DatePublished - Jul 2017
Number of pages200
PublisherReaktion Books
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)9781780237381

Publication series

PublisherReaktion Books


Known for their haughty demeanour, woolly charm and propensity to spit when threatened, llamas have had a rich and varied history. Since their domestication high in the Andes, they have been sacrificed, farmed, smuggled and petted. They have functioned at different times as luxury commodities, literary muses and national symbols and have served by turns as beasts of burden, circus performers and even golf caddies.

This book charts the history of llamas and their close relatives, alpacas, guanacos and vicuñas. Venerated by the Incas, llamas are still cherished in their native Peru and Bolivia, and remain central to Andean culture. After several unsuccessful acclimatisation attempts in the nineteenth century, llamas and alpacas have also become popular pets in Britain, the USA and Australia, where they are used for trekking, meat and wool production and as therapy animals. Llama recounts the llama’s colourful history and explores the animals’ presence in art, literature and film. It also assesses the vulnerable conservation status of the wild vicuña, an animal on the verge of extinction in the 1960s but now recovering in numbers thanks to effective conservation measures.

Packed with llama drama and alpaca facts, Llama shows that there’s much more to llamas than spitting.

    Research areas

  • llama, alpaca, guanaco, vicuna, nature, conservation, Peru

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