Portrait of Peruvian man playing a siku (panpipe), Pisac market by discovercorps on Flickr.

Pisac is a Peruvian village in the Sacred Valley on the Urubamba River. The village is well-known for its market every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, an event which attracts heavy tourist traffic from nearby Cusco. One of its more notable features is a large pisonay tree which dominates the central plaza. The sanctuary of Huanca, home to a sacred shrine, is also near the village. Pilgrims travel to the shrine every September. The area is perhaps best known for its Incan ruins, known as Inca Písac, which lie atop a hill at the entrance to the valley. The ruins are separated along the ridge into four groups: Pisaqa, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa, and Kinchiracay. Intihuatana includes a number of bathes and temples. The Temple of the Sun, a volcanic outcrop carved into a “hitching post” for the Sun (or Inti), is the focus, and the angles of its base suggest that it served some astronomical function. Q’allaqasa, which is built onto a natural spur and overlooks the valley, is known as the citadel.

Information via the photographer on Flickr. High-res

Portrait of Peruvian man playing a siku (panpipe), Pisac market by discovercorps on Flickr.

Pisac is a Peruvian village in the Sacred Valley on the Urubamba River. The village is well-known for its market every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, an event which attracts heavy tourist traffic from nearby Cusco. One of its more notable features is a large pisonay tree which dominates the central plaza. The sanctuary of Huanca, home to a sacred shrine, is also near the village. Pilgrims travel to the shrine every September. The area is perhaps best known for its Incan ruins, known as Inca Písac, which lie atop a hill at the entrance to the valley. The ruins are separated along the ridge into four groups: Pisaqa, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa, and Kinchiracay. Intihuatana includes a number of bathes and temples. The Temple of the Sun, a volcanic outcrop carved into a “hitching post” for the Sun (or Inti), is the focus, and the angles of its base suggest that it served some astronomical function. Q’allaqasa, which is built onto a natural spur and overlooks the valley, is known as the citadel.

Information via the photographer on Flickr.

Peru’s Señor de Choquekillca Festival is held in Ollantaytambo, near Cuzco (the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu). The festival commemorates a local saint and it also represents the Inca’s mocking of the conquistadors who invaded and almost obliterated the Indigenous Quechua culture. Writing for the Huffpost, Andrew Burmon muses that the festival comes across as a “strange” multicultural event that doesn’t match Western ideas of multiculturalism. The festival simultaneously represents an embrace of certain elements of Catholicism which are blended with Indigenous spirituality, as well as a rejection of Spanish colonialism. In Western nations, multiculturalism takes on many contested forms, but it is usually about tolerance of cultural and religious difference as a means of social integration of minority groups. This festival in Ollantaytambo subverts this notion by recreating the history of colonialism as an act of cultural and religious rebellion. The town honours its tradition by staging people drinking outside a church as well as by having a cross procession. The people dress up in beautifully ornate costumes as well as grotesque masks in a celebration, condemnation and reconciliation of the past. Burmon finds the entire event “absurd”, like most of history: 

Senor de Choquekillca is a strange sort of festival. A religious celebration in honor of a small town boy made saint that has morphed into an occasion for trans-generational venting, Choquekillca provides the citizens of the small town of Ollantaytambo with an occasion to dress up in white face and mock the conquistadors who destroyed the Inca civilization flourishing in this part of the Peruvian Andes…

That is what is great about the party: Like history itself, it doesn’t really make sense.

Peru’s Christian faith is a spoil of war, but no less genuine for being coerced. Likewise, the Incan culture is mourned despite being obviously extant. Unlike westerners, who more often than not see multiculturalism as the amalgamation of different peoples, the people of the Sacred Valley — inundated though they are by Machu Picchu-bound travelers — are multicultural on the inside, contradictions be damned.

It is hard not to love a people not only capable of holding contradictory ideas in their heads, but willing to celebrate them in concert. 

Photos via: Huffington Post.

My hero of the week: Lucia Allain is a an undocumented Peruvian-American student who moved to the USA when she was 10. She is also a DREAMer activist. The DREAM Act would provide undocumented migrants who moved to the USA as children a legal avenue to persue American citizenship. Allain interrupts American politician Mitt Romney a during a speech to call out his hypocrisy:

Right when he started talking about achieving the American Dream, and how every child deserves to live it. I interrupted and said, ‘I’m undocumented and I have a dream, are you still supporting “self-deportation?”’.

Go young Latina, go!

Source: HuffPost Latino Voices.

expose-the-light:

The world’s largest museum collection of brains is on display in Peru
There’s only one place in the world where you can view row after row of brains afflicted by mad cow disease, Alzheimer’s, and alcoholism. It’s Lima’s Museo de Cerebros, home to the largest collection of gray matter that can be viewed by the public. More than 3,000 samples of diseased brains and fetuses have been assembled by neuropathologist Diana Rivas for the Brain Museum. The museum is part of Peru’s Institute of Neurological Science, and while academics come from around the world to examine Rivas’ collection, she’s much more interested in educating the public about brain disease. She hopes that, if folks can see her damaged brains firsthand, they’ll think more about the health of their own noggins. The Brain Museum isn’t quite the largest collection of brains in the world. Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center at McLean Hospital has around 7,000 specimens, but it’s brains aren’t open to the public. So just how has Rivas amassed such an impressive collection? It helps that she supervises 100 autopsies a year, giving her the first look at potential new candidates. Brain Museum [Atlas Obscura] Diseased brains on display at Peru museum [Reuters] High-res

expose-the-light:

The world’s largest museum collection of brains is on display in Peru

There’s only one place in the world where you can view row after row of brains afflicted by mad cow disease, Alzheimer’s, and alcoholism. It’s Lima’s Museo de Cerebros, home to the largest collection of gray matter that can be viewed by the public. More than 3,000 samples of diseased brains and fetuses have been assembled by neuropathologist Diana Rivas for the Brain Museum. The museum is part of Peru’s Institute of Neurological Science, and while academics come from around the world to examine Rivas’ collection, she’s much more interested in educating the public about brain disease. She hopes that, if folks can see her damaged brains firsthand, they’ll think more about the health of their own noggins. The Brain Museum isn’t quite the largest collection of brains in the world. Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center at McLean Hospital has around 7,000 specimens, but it’s brains aren’t open to the public. So just how has Rivas amassed such an impressive collection? It helps that she supervises 100 autopsies a year, giving her the first look at potential new candidates. Brain Museum [Atlas Obscura] Diseased brains on display at Peru museum [Reuters]

(via scinerds)

Semáforos from Capi Baigorria on Vimeo.

Street performers in Lima, Peru, mime, dance and do acrobatics at street intersections.

Film by: Capi Baigorria. Semáforos.

En los semáforos de Lima, jóvenes locales y mochileros de otros países entretienen a los choferes y pasajeros por unas monedas. Algunos buscan lo necesario para sobrevivir ese día, otros lo necesario para seguir viajando.

The traffic lights of Lima, local youth and backpackers from other countries entertain drivers and passengers for a few coins. Some seek the necessities to survive that day, others need to continue traveling.

Via: One Day on Earth 10/10/10.