Saturday, October 31, 2009

About Florentino Mendoza and the Pajaritos.

by the Colca Specialist

Florentino Mendoza is the creator of the first musical group in Colca Valley called "Los pajaritos" that translated from spanish it would mean : "The little birds".Tourism is relatively a new activity in Colca Valley-Colca Canyon.Little by little travel agencies,hotels and restaurants appeared in Chivay.The first musical shown in Colca Valley was created by Florentino Mendoza and family with the purpose of offering enterntainment to the tourists that stay in Chivay

Florentino gave music lessons to their kids and they created their musical group and they visited the only two hotels available in Chivay offering music to the visitors.Nowadays the kids turned into parents but they still continue offering shows in Chivay and Florentino Mendoza is the owner now of a nice pleasant restaurant called "El Nido" (The nest) He is still offering the visitors a show of typical dances of Colca Valley and Colca Canyon.The most representative dance in Colca Valley is the Wititi,the dance of love as they say,a dance where love and war are involved.

Qamile is other dance which is worth to be seen.Qamile is the dance related to agriculture.In this dance there is a lot of symbolism hidden behind each part of this dance.In this picture we see Kelma ,an ex local beauty contest queen watching his partner performing the ceremonial drink during the ritual done to Pachamama.

Tourist are invited to take part in this representation of the ceremonial.

After the qamile ,the couple of dancers pose for pictures for the visitors.The clothes desings are unique in Colca Valley and Colca Canyon.Womens clothes are masterpieces of embroidery.

Embroidery was introduced by the spanish conquerors in Colca Valley and in those times it was done with alpaca wool and painted with cactus seeds.

The first pattern taught were roses but there are no roses in Colca Valley neither Colca Canyon.

With the pass of the time roses were replaced by the local flowers and other local elemnts such as condors,hummingbirds,etc.

The man represents activity in Colca Valley so he is the one in charge of breaking the ground before putting seeds.He carries the Chaquitaclla or foot plow.

The woman represents passivity,reception she is the representative of the Pachamama so that is why she is the one in charge of putting seeds in the fields.

The dancer is performing the ceremonial drink while he sings the jaileos or traditional songs for the Pachamama.

Other dance which is very interesting to see is the dance called "Chujcho".This dance comes from Cabanaconde area which is located next to the Colca Canyon.This dance makes fun of the "macho attitude" of the andean men and of course cabana women know how to be ready for this situation!All the dances in Colca are unique and different from other dances seen in Qosqo and in Puno.All of them have a mythical origin and legends explain their ancient meaning.If you go to "El Nido" don´t forget to drink "El quemadito" (The burned one) a drink which is made of orange,with cinnamon and other species that mixed with firewater of good quality is going to be a very interesting experience.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

About Misti volcano

Coporaque: place where the corn is given

by the Colca Specialist

Its name comes from two different quechua words: QHOTO that means a pile of corn,and RAKE that means to give,to distribute.
So Coporaque means: Place where the corn is given.
In Colca Valley and in Colca canyon there were many Qollqas or places for storage where our ancestors kept grains among other products in order to provide food to the people in the crisis periods.
Coporaque was the capital of the Inka empire during 20 years aproximatedly so that’s why there were many Qollqas in Coporaque area.
People of Coporaque are called CHATA QEROS or tied qeros.
Qeros are containers made of wood to drink chicha and with pass of the time the qeros get broken so in order to solve the problem the locals get a cord and they tied it up to avoid the chicha to come out of the container.

This is the church of Coporaque which is one of the oldest in Colca Valley.This one is dedicated to Santiago apostle which was one of the most important religious icons in the catholic religion.

This monument represents Inca Mayta Qapaq the inca conqueror that according to the tradition came here to Colca Valley and Colca Canyon to conquer these lands for the inca empire. They came to declare war but the people were friendly and besides they were farmers not warriors like the inca so the inca established an alliance through marriage.
The inca Mayta Qapaq married the Kollawa princess Mama Tanqaray Yacchi and the royal couple lived in Coporaque area.So Coporaque became the capital of the inca empire for aproximatedly 20 years until the death of the ruler.

Here in this picture we can see San Antonio de Chicjra which is an archeological complex located on the top of the hill.An extensive analysis was done and many burials were found around the house.Because of the burials this place was a "Huaca" "sacred place" in the past.In the case of this shrine it is oriented towards the sun rise whose totem was the andean condor which was associated to the sun god.The one that took the souls of the death to heaven.