Asunción Feature

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Light, but Long-lasting

Paraguay's signature craft souvenir is the delicate ñandutí, a type of spiderweb lacework. Patterns represent plants, animals, or scenes from local legends. Although ñandutí are traditionally made with white silk or cotton, colors are now being added to the designs. Both this and ao p'oí, a type of embroidery, are incorporated into such items as tablecloths and place mats. Wood carvings, intricately decorated gourds, and figurines—including Nativity figures—are reasonably priced mementos. Rustic leather items, such as suitcases, knapsacks, and briefcases, are long-lasting and only a fraction of the cost of Argentine goods. Plain white or colorful woven hammocks are another good buy. You'll be able to find all these crafts in stores in Asunción. Craftspeople in the town of Areguá, near Asunción on Lake Ypacaraí, make clay pots and other ceramics. In Luque, near the international airport, you can find Paraguayan harps, guitars, and fine silver filigree jewelry. The town of Itá, 37 km (23 mi) south of Asunción on Ruta 1, is famous for its ceramics, and is the place to come for distinctive black clay pottery.

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