Our Inca ancestors, apart from leaving us a great cultural legacy, also left us much of their Andean wisdom and traditions. The Andean worldview is one of them, and more than that, a way of life.
The Andean worldview focused on the relationship between man, the stars and our mother earth, the “Pachamama” to be able to coexist in harmony. For them, everything in this world has life.
The world of the Incas was divided into 3 parts: The sky (Hanan pacha), represented by the Condor; the earth (Kay pacha) for the puma and hell (Ukhu pacha) for the snake that together form the famous Andean trilogy.
In addition to that, they left us traditions and customs that we repeat every year. Some as a way of life and others, to promote our cultural identity. Here are some:
CUSCAN TRADITIONS AND ANDEAN TRADITIONS
PAYMENT TO MOTHER EARTH OR “PACHAMAMA”:
The payment to the land (tradition in Cusco) is an Andean ritual in which our Pachamama is thanked for everything obtained during the year and for everything we want to achieve on a personal, professional, and health level for ourselves and our family. This ritual is directed by a “shaman” who, through offerings and coca leaves, executes this ritual from beginning to end.
This ritual is customary to take place in the month of August, due to the Andean new year. Families usually put yellow petals or yellow itch on their houses.
The huatia is a typical dish of southern Peru made in Cusco and Puno in the dry season (May-September).
This dish consists of assembling an artisan oven with stones or kurpas (pieces of dry earth), once you have the oven armed and hot, put potatoes, geese, beans, in short, everything you want to cook.
ANDEAN TRADITION READING THE COCA LEAF:
Who ever thought of reading the coca leaf? This reading is the oldest ritual used by society to know about its present and future, in all aspects of their lives, through coca leaves. The coca leaf is considered a sacred leaf due to its healing and mystical powers.
This reading is done by people who have the gift of reading, formerly called “Cocapirikuy”, who, on a q’eperina or mantle, throw coca leaves and according to the figures formed, interpreted the future.
Currently, you can find these readings in the town “Huasao”, Oropesa district.
TRADITION INTI RAYMI:
Or better known as the “Fiesta del Sol”. It is the festival is one of the most awaited and important Andean traditions of the Inca Empire celebrated every June 24.
In this celebration, the adoration to the “Inti” or Sun God is remembered through songs, dances and offerings given by the 4 of them: Chinchaysuyo, Antisuyo, Contisuyo and Collasuyo in retribution for the good harvest and harmony among all the Tahuantinsuyo.
The “Ayahuasca” is a brew of Amazonian origin made from a vine, a plant that grows in the Peruvian Amazon. This brew possesses strong psychoactive properties considered by many as an introspective and revealing journey to reconcile with one’s own being.
It is also considered as an alternative therapy to mood disorders and addiction problems.
For this ritual you must prepare mentally and physically a week in advance to arrive “pure” to the day of the ceremony. This ritual lasts around 6 to 8 hours and the guidance of a shaman is necessary.
TRADITION OF CUY:
The pass of Cuy is an alternative method of diagnosis and prognosis performed by healers to people. This method consists of rubbing the animal around the whole body. Once finished, it is said that all the ills or diseases that affect the person will be transferred to the animal.
Have you ever seen someone spill their drink before taking their first sip?
This action is called “Ch’allar la Pachamama”, in which alcohol is offered to the earth as thanks for all that it gives us. This tradition has been around since the time of the Incas. It is an important tradition that shows respect to our mother earth.
“Rutucha” is an Andean tradition in which the first haircut of the boy or girl is made as a presentation to society. This ritual symbolizes the flowering of a new life.
ANDEAN TRADITION OF THE DAY OF THE DEAD IN CUSCO:
This festivity takes place in the month of November paying homage to all the relatives who are no longer alive with us. Altars are assembled in the houses with a photo of the deceased and around, gifts, flowers, food and other objects as a gift from their relatives. In these altars you can not miss the traditional “Pan wawa or horse bread” and Lechón.