21 September, 2019
Curiosities of Cusco “Archaeological Capital of America”. This ancient Peruvian city got used to the large number of tourists who came to appreciate the fabulous Inca buildings such as the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Thus, the city was developed based on tourism as the first economic activity. Today, tourists are surprised by the curiosities of Cusco this peculiar city of the Andes. What differentiates Cusco from the rest of the country? Meet some of the most important curiosities of the ancient capital of Tahuantinsuyo.
According to the Inca worldview, the condor, the snake and the puma represented the three sacred animals. The latter meant strength, wisdom and nature. In addition, it symbolizes the world of the living or kay Pacha (World of the living). That is why the ancient city of Cusco was planned urbanistically in the shape of a cougar. Although today it is almost impossible to distinguish it due to the constant urbanization of the city, it is presumed that the head is located in the fortress of Sacsayhuaman and the tail in the Coricancha.
Many texts denominate in an undifferentiated way Cusco and Cuzco. What is the right way? In practical terms, both are valid. It happens that the Incas had no graphic writing and to refer to the capital of the empire they simply pronounced Qosqo (Navel). For many years, the sound led to the writing of Castilian as “Cuzco” with “Z”. However, years later, it was argued that historically it was the Spaniards and not the Incas who pronounced the “Z”. Finally for a matter of historical claim, the term “Cusco” with “S” was also approved. Currently, both forms are correct.
For the visitor who arrives in Cusco by plane, the landscape from the top is beautiful in part because of the typical red color on the roofs of the houses. However, if they approach, they will notice that one or two pieces of mud govern the rooftops, known among the inhabitants of the city as the “Toros de Pucará” which is one of the many curiosities of Cusco. These ceramic animals are native to the highland town of Pupuja, howeder, because they are traditionally sold at the train station of the town of Pucará, it adopted its current name. In the Andean worldview, they mean protection and happiness in homes. It is common to see them in pairs on the roofs of Cusco.
If the tourist is lucky enough to visit the city of Cusco during Holy Week, he will be surprised at the devotion of the citizens for the Lord of the tremors. The peculiarity of this representation of Jesus Christ crucified, stands out for being black another of the curiosities of Cusco that will surprise you. It is said that the religious figure acquired that tone due to the smoke of the thousands of candles that prayed for his miracles since 1650. It is also said that it was in that year when a strong tremor hit the city. It was not until the “Taytacha” of the tremors was taken to the streets that the natural phenomenon ended. Today, one of the main sponsors of Cusco.
If I believed that the Inca Empire ended with the conquest of the Spaniards in the 16th century, I would not believe what happens in the city of Cusco at the end of June. At that time, the Inca emperor returns to cross the streets of Qosqo in a surprising performance called “Inti Raymi” (Festival of the Sun). This important Cusco celebration, since 1944, revaluates the Inca traditions with hundreds of actors and actresses who personify the lives of their predecessors. The performance takes place in sacred places like Qoricancha and Sacsayhuaman. All winter solstices are celebrated in the southern hemisphere. Currently, it is an important tourist attraction and one of the curiosities of Cusco most appreciated by visitors to the Inca city.
The compadrazgo (relationship of the godfather an the parents of the godson) is so important in Cusco, that there is the day the comadres and the day of the compadres. on a thursday in february (the exact date varies according to the calendar), women celebrate their day with typical dishes, teasing their compadres and abundant beer. The following thursday, the men do the same with their comadres. These parties precede the traditional carnival festival, a holiday full of joy, music and dances.