They are not used as beasts of burden like llamas, but are valued only for their wool, of which the Indian blankets and ponchos are made.
They gathered ponchos and a blanket, just in case afternoon showers arrived a bit early.
An important branch of this industry is the manufacture of " zarapes " (called ponchos " in other parts of Spanish America) - a blanket slit in the centre for the head to pass through, and worn in place of a coat by men of the lower classes.
The vicuna also is celebrated for its wool, which the natives weave into beautiful and costly ponchos (blanket cloaks) and other wearing apparel.
Cashmere, baize, waterproof ponchos of fine wool and silk, and many other fabrics are made by the Indians of the Andean departments.
The woollen "zarapes" or "ponchos" of Saltillo are among the finest produced in Mexico.
The native manufactures include tanned leather, saddles, shoes, ponchos, woollen and cotton cloth, fibre sandals and sacking, blankets, coarse matting and coarse woollen carpets.
They manufacture copper boilers for making sugar and understand several trades, weave ponchos and hammocks and make straw hats.