Friday, August 1st, 2014 at
Offering a Gift to the Earth (Wayra)
By David Knowlton
The month of Pachamama, the lady of the Earth and Time dawns on August first. This is an important time in traditional Andean society. The depth of the dry season, when brown can be seen everywhere and rain seldom appears, Andeans turn to think about feeding the mother earth, a payment as they call it, for her to return in fertility and brilliance.
Even away from the agricultural domain, in the City of Cuzco, this month is important. People turn their thoughts to finding a papacho, an Andean ritual specialist, also known as Andean priest, who can make an offering to the Pachamama for them and their household. They seek her blessings to keep away misfortune and enhance fortune. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday, July 31st, 2014 at
By Eric Rayner
Pitumarka’s Temple (Eric Rayner)
In the Andes the octava is a ceremony that bids farewell to the deceased and reflects on their lives. The octava is a fusion of Native Andean and Catholic beliefs and takes place exactly eight
days after the funeral.
I am visiting Pitumarka again when we are approached by the family of a an important and recently deceased member of the community the former mayor of Pitumarka, Don Mariano Zavaleta. The Zavaleta family asks us to attend the octava for Don Mariano. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 at
Members of Pitumarkas Weaving Cooperative (Eric J. Rayner)
By Eric Rayner,
One Saturday afternoon, Don Timoteo and I are sitting in the Pitumarka town square. A man is in his fifties, slim, athletic and of short stature approaches us. His asiatic features are bronzed and wrinkled from a lifetime of working in the sun.
He is wearing the red jacket, black flannel pants, a poncho and a fedora Pitumarkan men have worn for centuries. This traditional dress is modeled after sixteenth-century Andalusian Spain. Andean Ponchos are a syncretism of Ponchos of the Cowboys from rainy Northern Spain and the traditional Andean tunic called uncu. Andean ponchos are no longer stitched along the sides allowing the front and back panel to move more freely. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 at
By Rosario Soto Bringas
There is no fiesta without a circus. That is what many Peruvians think, especially people from Lima. The feasts of the national holidays are not only painted red and white. They are multicolor with more hews than a rainbow. The circuses raise their big tents and with them the illusions and hopes of children and adults.
They think of trapeze artists, magicians and their tricks. They cannot wait to laugh with clowns and their strange names like “Little Rocoto”, “Whistle”, “Tea Spoon”, and more. They are the first to come out at the beginning of the circus and between each number to entertain the public. They keep people distracted while the lions are prepared, or the horses, elephants, monkeys, and dogs ready to perform their unusual tricks. Read the rest of this entry
Monday, July 28th, 2014 at
Peru’s Flag and a New Generation (Wayra)
By Arnold Fernandez Coraza
Today we celebrate our national Holiday, our fiestas patrias, in Peru. This twenty-eighth of July we are all Peruvians. The celebration began on Sunday in all of Peru’s cities and towns. People gathered in the main square of each place to show their joy and pride in our country.
In the Imperial City we live our national fiesta just as we do every year. Several days before hand several schools begin our event with a parade in the Plaza Túpac Amaru as well as in the Plaza de Armas, the main Square of Cuzco. All the students parade for their fatherland. In other schools the students march down streets near their institutions with the flag on high. They sing loudly out national anthem. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday, July 27th, 2014 at
By Arnold Coraza Fernandez
Asnapa: Bundle of Herbs (Arnold Fernandez)
Cuzqueños love a good soup, wam, tasty and substantial, at ten in the morning. They fill themselves with their warmth and nourishment to be able to continue with their work day charged with fresh energy.
These classical, traditional soups are found for sale from very early in the morning in case you want one earlier. Especially taxi drivers and construction workers make their way to the stands for this burst of liquid warmth and energy. Given their demanding work, these workers take a break at ten for a substantial bowl of soup. Read the rest of this entry
Saturday, July 26th, 2014 at
Peru’s Army Marches with Pride (Wayra)
By Brayan Coraza Morveli
Every year in July, Cuzco and the whole country dress up in red and white, the colors that symbolize the peruvian flag These are called the fiestas patrias, or the fiestas in honor of the fatherland. On the 28th we celebrate out independence. From several days before people will be parading around the plaza de Armas in honor of our country.
All of our social institutions will decorate their buildings with flags, chains of paper in red and white, word, ideas, and murals of our independence. These are symbols that refer to the month of the homeland. Read the rest of this entry
Friday, July 25th, 2014 at
By David Knowlton
Dance and Representing the Holy and History in Paucartambo (Wayra)
English and Spanish are like to sisters who have lived their adult life in different places and after decades sit down to talk. They may have the same word, but they have developed different nuances and meanings from the experiences of the sisters with other people over all those years.
Sometimes the differences really do not matter as the sisters take pleasure in sharing and being together. Other times they make understanding difficult and can even raise ire,
A case in point is the word fiesta in Spanish and feast in English. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday, July 24th, 2014 at
Cuy the Way Cuzqueños Love It
Guinea pig meat, much loved as a festive food in Cuzco, as well as elsewhere in the andes, troubles many North Americans who see the animal only as a pet. Yet at the same time eating it seems both taboo and exotic. Many Americans and Canadians try the animal in restaurants when they visit Cuzco in part to break taboos as part of travel.
Yet with the migration of many Andeans to North America things are changing. The US Census reported for 2010 that 533,000 Ecuadorians, 462,000 Peruvians, and 83,000 Bolivians lived in the US. With their US born children these immigrants make for a very sizable community of probable guinea pig eaters, which is even greater if one includes North Americans who have learned to want to eat this rodent. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 at
By David Knowlton
A Rolled Kebab Cut in Half (Wayra)
The streets of Cuzco’s colonial core are different every time you walk down them. Sure, the buildings stay much the same, whether you are looking at old pictures or remembering them from when you last visited them. They do vary over stretches of time, however: a new detail here, a different color there.
You need to only go into the museum of Casa Concha which houses the Yale Machu PIcchu collection and was an important place in its own right. It shows you some of the differences of that building in different times. Read the rest of this entry