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    The Travelers Guide toFESTIVITIES, MUSIC AND FOLK ART IN PERUThe Travelers Guide to

    FESTIVITIES, MUSIC AND FOLK ART IN PERU

    www.peru.org.peiperu@promperu.gob.pe

    CONTENTS

    THE POWER OF DIVERSITYFESTIVITIES IN PERU

    Festivities CalendarJANUARYEntrega de Varas (scepter of power)Chiaraje (war game)Marinera Dance FestivalFEBRUARYVirgen de la CandelariaTinca de Vacas (cattle-branding)FEBRUARY AND/OR MARCHCarnivalsMARCHLunahuan Adventure-Sports FestivalWine FestivalCruces de PorcnMarch and/or AprilEaster WeekLord of the EarthquakesAPRILPeruvian Paso Horse FestivalMAYVirgen de ChapiSeor de MuruhuayFestival of the CrossesQoyllur RitiJUNEInti RaymiSan JuanSan Pedro & San PabloCorpus ChristiJULYVirgen del Carmen de PaucartamboIndependence DayYawar FiestaAUGUSTSanta Rosa de LimaSEPTEMBERVirgen de CocharcasInternational Spring FestivalOCTOBERVirgen del RosarioSeor Cautivo de Ayabaca (The Captive Christ of Ayabaca)Seor de los Milagros (Lord of Miracles)Seor de LurenNOVEMBERAll Saints Day & Day of the DeadDECEMBERAndean Christmas

    CONTENTS

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    The Travelers Guide toFESTIVITIES, MUSIC AND FOLK ART IN PERUThe Travelers Guide to

    FESTIVITIES, MUSIC AND FOLK ART IN PERU

    www.peru.org.peiperu@promperu.gob.pe

    Santuranticuy fairVirgen del Carmen de ChinchaCoca leaf and Offerings to the Earth Goddess

    DANCES AND INSTRUMENTS

    The Marinera and the CajnThe Huayno and the QuenaThe Huaylarsh and the HarpThe Festejo and the QuijadaCarnival and the MandolinThe Santiago and the TinyaThe Creole Waltz and the GuitarThe Sikuri and the ZampoaThe Harawi and the CharangoDanzantes de Tijeras (Scissors Dancers)Chicha or Peruvian CumbiaWhistling Gourds

    ARTS & CRAFTS & FOLK ART

    Fleeting ArtFireworksCarpets of Flower PetalsTanta WawasCandles and Giant Wax CandlesFuneral ArtPotteryAyacucho PotteryPuno PotteryCuzco PotteryShipibo PotteryBaskets and Straw ArticlesImagesMasksRetablosHuamanga Stone CarvingsWooden CarvingsCarved GourdsJewelrySilversmithyGold FiligreeSemi-precious StonesLeather GoodsSarhua BoardsTextilesHessian WeaveEmbroideryCotton Thread InlaysTapestriesNeedlepointDecorative Utensils

    Artisanry Fairs, Crafts Centers and Museums

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    The Travelers Guide toFESTIVITIES, MUSIC AND FOLK ART IN PERUThe Travelers Guide to

    FESTIVITIES, MUSIC AND FOLK ART IN PERU

    www.peru.org.peiperu@promperu.gob.pe

    TThe spirit of Peruvian Man, sculpted by art andreligion, has given rise to a creative vein whichcrops up in an endless variety of shapes, rhythmsand rituals. Year after year, more than 3.000 folkfestivals, 1.500 musical styles and countless artsand crafts confirm that Peru is home to one ofthe most varied folk legacies on Earth.

    With this outpouring of artistic expression,Peruvians feed on their deep-lying roots to projecta timeless alliance with nature and throughrhythms and colors, strengthen theircommitment to life and extend to visitors thehospitality and reciprocity that are so typical ofPeruvian culture. The many festivals, even thoseof a religious nature, reveal the joyous nature ofPeruvians, both men and women, theirinclination to be sociable and share their hopes.

    Although they were not always separated fromday-to-day life and work, these festivals arerooted at the present, marked by an overflowingsensuality, the overwhelming outpouring of reli-gious faith, and the need to interpret in a cre-ative way the temporary reversal of order thatbreathes new life into the cohesion of Peruviancommunities. Today, the festivals echo to thestrains of wind and percussion instruments, someof which date from pre-Inca times and somewhich have been created more recently. Thereare also dances ranging from the traditional like the marinera and the huayno to more mod-ern rhythms such as creole waltz and chicha.

    This capacity for musical fusion is the moststriking affirmation of a culture that does notadmit excluding purisms, one which forges acommon identity out of a multi-cultural realityfilled with differences.

    In Peru these differences, and the living historyin which all of them converge, open up amultitude of creative possibilities that take shapein the form of objects made for daily use ordestined for sacred rituals. Artisans threw alltheir expressive force into an ample repertoireof pottery, textiles, images, carvings, jewelry andall sorts of arts and crafts that are typical of Peru,such as the Sarhua boards or the San Marcosretablos. Like most Peruvian folk art, their work

    The Power of Diversity

    reveals an essential commitment to fertility,abundance and life itself.

    FESTIVITIES IN PERU

    Peru holds around 3.000 folk festivals every year.This guide takes a look at a selection of 34festivals chosen for their tourist popularity,geographic reach, cultural importance andunique character.

    Most of them are dedicated to a patron saint, fall-ing within the Christian calendar imposed dur-ing the Vice-regency, after having been carefullyadapted to the magical and religious beliefs of aparticular region.

    Apart from these religious festivals, Peru hostsother celebrations that are exclusively pagan,such as those linked to time-honored myths injungle native communities and the countlessfestivals created over the past few centuries ordecades. More over, on the same day of thecelebration, migrants from 4.000 regional clubshold urban versions of the same festivals thatthey celebrate in their home towns.

    A traditional Peruvian festival is, by nature, aspace where all things both sacred and profanecome together in a single manifestation of pride,vitality and sheer joy.

    The Christian rite that is manifestly visible above all in the highlands is superimposed onthe pre-Hispanic tradition of taki (singing anddancing in the Quechua language) dedicated topagan gods that are reborn every year in the guiseof Occidental saints.

    The celebrations go hand-in-hand with a busyprogram of activities that include Mass,processions, pilgrimages, dancing, banquets, artsand crafts shows and agricultural fairs, folk dan-ces and other shows that blend sensuality andspirituality, the circular order and temporarychaos as well as the past and the future.

    Perus festivals form a richly colored tapestryaimed at reinventing history and producing acelebratory synthesis of Man and Mother Earth.

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    The Travelers Guide toFESTIVITIES, MUSIC AND FOLK ART IN PERUThe Travelers Guide to

    FESTIVITIES, MUSIC AND FOLK ART IN PERU

    www.peru.org.peiperu@promperu.gob.pe

    FESTIVITIES CALENDAR

    JANUARY1CuzcoEntrega de VarasThe power of a scepter

    At the start of every year, the elders of each com-munity in the area (the yayas) come together todesignate the candidates who are to become thehighest authorities of their villages: the Varayocs.In a festival that features gallons of chicha (maizebeer) and llonque (sugarcane alcohol), the mayoror Varayoc receives the scepter or vara that sym-bolizes his power. This pre-Hispanic custom hasbeen glossed over with Occidental formalities. Thevaras are crafted from local wood varieties suchas chonta palm, black hualtaco, huallacn ormembrillo, measure around a meter in length andare inlaid with gold and silver (Cuzcos Town Hallfeatures a small museum that exhibits some su-perb examples). When a Varayoc steps down fromhis post, he ceases to hold any post in his com-munity ever again, and becomes one of the ven-erable elders.

    20Canas (Cuzco)ChiarajeRitual battle

    The tradition of staging ritual battles to ensurethe fertility of the land lives on in a remote partof the department of Cuzco. The Pampa delChiaraje, at an altitude of 4.700 meters above sealevel, in the province of Canas, can be reached bya paved road from the old Inca capital and thenvia a dirt road. Here, every year the peaceful vil-lagers of Checcas, Langui and Layo stage an im-pressive battle. Armed with hardened lambswoolslings, leather whips and waistcoats decoratedwith flowers, young warriors taunt each other inthe mist or amidst pelting hailstorms. This ispucllay, or war games, where the name of thegame is to control as much territory as possibleand force the enemy to retreat.

    20Trujillo (La Libertad)Marinera Dance FestivalCourting with a handkerchief

    The marinera is one of the most elegant dancesin Peru. The dance involves a great deal of flirt-ing between a couple, who each twitch a hand-

    kerchief in their right hand, while keeping thebeat during what is fairly complex choreography.Dance steps, characteristic of the marinera in-clude the coqueteo (with the couple dancing veryclosely together) and the skillful cepillado foot-work (literally brushing). The daring marinera,danced in the department of La Libertad, fea-tures the man wearing a wide-brimmed hat andponcho and the lady dressed in an intricateMoche lace dress. From January 20-30, the GranChim stadium in the city of Trujillo holds thecountrys most important marinera festival. Thiscompetition, that draws couples from all over thecountry, is organized by the Club Libertad. Dur-ing the festival, the city also hosts processionsinvolving floats, and the whole town takes on afestive air. The people of Trujillo gather at themain square to dance and celebrate.

    FEBRUARY1-14PunoVirgen de la CandelariaFaith in the folk capital of the Americas

    For 18 days, the highland town of Puno, nestledon the shores of Lake Titicaca at an altitude of3.870 meters above sea level, is becomes the FolkCapital of the Americas. The festival gathersmore than 200 groups of musicians and dancersto celebrate the Mamacha Candelaria. For thefirst nine days, the mayordomos (those in chargeof organizing the festivities), decorate the churchand pay for Mass, banquets and fireworks dis-plays. On the main day, February 2, the virginis led through the city in a colorful proc