Upon reading the Wikipedia article on guinea pigs, howls of derisive laughter Bruce.
The common guinea pig was first domesticated as early as 5000 BC for food by tribes in the Andean region of South America (present-day the southern part of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia), some thousands of years after the domestication of the South American camelids.
OK, that's interesting. I mean, that's a pretty ancient time for domestication of anything.
Statues dating from ca. 500 BC to 500 AD that depict guinea pigs have been unearthed in archaeological digs in Peru and Ecuador. The Moche people of ancient Peru worshipped animals and often depicted the guinea pig in their art.
Worshipping guinea pigs. Carving statues of guinea pigs. And they think lolcats are dumb?
From ca. 1200 AD to the Spanish conquest in 1532, selective breeding resulted in many varieties of domestic guinea pigs, which form the basis for some of the modern domestic breeds. They continue to be a food source in the region; many households in the Andean highlands raise the animal, which subsists off the family's vegetable scraps.
As we know by the heartless posts on IKN.
Folklore traditions involving guinea pigs are numerous; they are exchanged as gifts,
WTF? That's a hilarious image right there.
"Hey Juan! Guess what I've got you for your birthday!"
"Oh... great... how thoughtful... I'll just put it here with the others."
used in customary social and religious ceremonies, and frequently referenced in spoken metaphors.
"La montaña llega al cuy," "tan inteligente como un cuy en un taller de reparaciones" and "para pintar una acuarela con los cuyes", perhaps. I mean, those must at least be sentences.
They also play a role in traditional healing rituals by folk doctors, or curanderos, who use the animals to diagnose diseases such as jaundice, rheumatism, arthritis, and typhus. They are rubbed against the bodies of the sick,
Well! Don't ask don't tell, ducky!
and are seen as a supernatural medium.
Dude, supernatural? Okay, well at this point, I'm starting to think you probably shouldn't be pissing supernatural creatures off by eating them.