National Geographic : 1961 Jul
Chilean Indians Glean a Bare Living Beneath the Icy Dome of Inacaliri Peak Each summer herdsmen drive sheep and llamas to sparse pasturage on the puna (background), the lofty tableland on the shoulders of the Andes. Be fore winter's arrival, they return to tend crops on the lower slopes. Barrel chests and extra oxygen carrying blood cells enable these people to live an active life at altitudes that made the author's party violently ill. Children playing at 13,000 feet laughed at the visitors' heavy breathing. Mother and child bring in llareta, a plant dried for fuel, from a stockpile in their yard (below). They live in the stone hut chinked with mud and roofed with stipa grass. Billowy llareta, a brick-hard member of the pars ley family, provides the chief fuel in an area devoid of wood and coal. In some parts of the Andes, In dians have chopped the slow-growing plant to the point of extinction. Indian boy at lower right holds a chunk of llareta.