Art, Folklore and Craft of Cuzco
Folklore in Cuzco
Cuzco is a universe of dances, inheritance from the Inca times and that they also conserved from all the towns and nations that conquered. Many of their dances also have the inheritance of Spain, with great influence of the Christian religion.
Today's religious feasts, give origin to the big dances where fine dresses, beautifully decorated and embroidered, with multicolored suits are worn, accompanied by their music and song.
In Cuzco's rural areas, the way people dress makes an important distinction, as a result of the blend of pre-Hispanic influences with the European clothing that the natives were forced to wear during the colonial era.
The Music & Dances, thanks to the recent archaeological discoveries of musical instruments, experts now know that in Peru, music has been played at least as far back as 10,000 years ago.
Among the main dances we can mention the Kachampa of Inca origin, the "Sijlla" (or dance of the doctors) of Spanish influence, the dance of the "Chunchos", the "Pusamorenos", the "Llameros", and the "Camiles", among many others.
Festivals and rituals in Cuzco: Cuzco celebrates some hundreds festivals a year. Most of them are held in homage to a patron saint and are part of the Christian calendar adopted in colonial times, although they have blended with the magical beliefs of ancient forms of worship.
The celebrations of the Holy Week, Carnivals, Corpus Christi, and the feast of "Señor de los Temblores" (Lord of the Earthquakes), have special significance for cusquenians, becoming a great folkloric expression of their people.
Inti Raymi: The maximum expression of folklore from the people of Cuzco is given in the Inti Raymi. The Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere and the local harvests are the driving force behind the greatest, most majestic pre-Hispanic ceremony to render homage to the sun. Today, the Inti Raymi festival evokes the splendid Inca ritual of yore, being carefully scripted by Cuzco professors, archaeologists and historians. The central event is acted out on the esplanade below the imposing fortress of Sacsayhuaman, 2 Km outside the city of Cuzco, easily reached by car or on foot. There, step by step, thousands of actors enact a long ceremony giving thanks to the sun god, Inti. The Inca ruler is borne on a royal litter from the Koricancha, or Temple of the Sun to the Huacaypata, the city's main square, where he commands the local authorities to govern fairly.
Crafts in Cuzco
Peru and Cuzco boasts one of the largest varieties of arts and crafts on Earth. The diversity, color, creativity and multiple functions of Peru's folk art has made it a fundamental activity not just for Peru's cultural identity, but also as a way of life for thousands of families and even entire communities.
Cuzco, the towns of "Valle Sagrado de los Incas" (Sacred Valley of the Incas) and the towns around, have a considerable range of handmade production, much of it is an inheritance of their Incas ancestors.
Outstanding the elaboration of fabrics, especially those of alpaca wool made by hand, imagery, ceramic, sculptures and miniatures. In the city of Cuzco, it is recommended to visit San Blas's neighborhood, in which numerous artists and artisans live. In San Blas the artisans like the Mendívil, Olave and Merida families have reached the international fame for the quality of their works.
Crafts in silver and gold jewels also have a great local artistic expression.