In Fes, we visited a tannery called the Chouara Tannery. The Tannery processed, dryed, dyed, and did everything with leather in Morocco. They had huge pools of dye, some of pigeon poop to soften the leather. But the thing that I found most interesting was that they had been doing it the same way for thousands of years.
Today, after visiting the Moray terraces (read Kieran’s blog: Terraces Around Peru) we went on to drive to some famous salt pits called Salinas de Maras. It works like this: there are streams that run through, over, and past so much land rich with minerals, especially salt, that the water becomes very salty or mineralized. There were a bunch of little pools, or pits, of this water. The streams were dug in a way so that the couple of main streams would branch off splitting into many little streams, each one flowing to a different pool of salty water. The family that owned that pool would close off the stream that supplied their pit when it was full, wait about 20 days for the water to evaporate, then harvest the salt. There are hundreds of families, each tending to their own pool of salt. But the thing that I found most interesting was that they and been doing it the same way for hundreds of years. It is unknown just how long, but the site and traditions pre-date the Incas.
The two places, the tannery in Morocco and the salt pits in Peru, had both retained the traditions, or methods of old, sharing it with tourists and using it still as a part of the local economy. Both knew perfectly well exactly how you were supposed to do it, for that was the method their ancestors used all those years ago.
Below: Salt Pits