TRADITIONS: The Lord of Qoyllur Rit’i, America’s largest indigenous festival

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The pilgrimage to the Shrine of Mr. Qoyllur Riti is the reunion of the Andean man with his faith and his Apu Tutelar the Ausangate. It is considered the largest pilgrimage in America and undoubtedly is one of the most important religious festivals of the Andean world in Cusco.

Every year during the last “Killa Hunt’asqa” (Full Moon) prior to the Intiq Raymi (Winter Solstice Sun Festival) is celebrated in the snowy Awsanqateq (6165 mnsm), the largest spiritual and religious pilgrimage of the Andean world Contemporary and America’s largest indigenous holiday.

The inhabitants of the district of Ocongate (Quispicanchis), in the department of Cusco, perform a rite whose external symbol is the image of Christ, but its underlying object is the integration of man with nature, the people of this place are devotees of Taytacha Qoyllur Rit’i (The Lord of the Bright Snow). This is an ancient religious practice practiced only by the inhabitants of the Andes. Each year, a few days before the celebration of Corpus Christi, each small town or clan sends a delegation of colorful dancers and “pabluchas” to the Lord’s Chapel of Ritty Qoyllur.

It is an ancient religious practice practiced only by the inhabitants of the Andes. Photo: Óscar Condés

It is an ancient religious practice practiced only by the inhabitants of the Andes. Photo: Óscar Condés

The ritual, associated with the fertility of the earth and with the worship of the Apus, forms part of one of America’s largest indigenous festivals. The main ceremony takes place at the foot of snow-covered Ausangate. The ritual consists of a pilgrimage of shepherds, merchants and curious people who gather at the Sinakara Shrine in the village of Mawayany, 4600 meters above sea level.

According to the myth, the Child Jesus, disguised as shepherd, appeared to an Indian child, Marianito Mayta, and both became friends. When the parents found them dressed in rich robes they told the parish priest of the place, Pedro de Landa, who tried to capture him but without success, because in the place of the Child appeared a stone. Marianito died immediately and the image of the Lord of Qoyllur Rit’i was fixed on the rock.

Pilgrimage to Mr. de Qoyllur Rit’i

The pilgrimage to the shrine of Mr. de Qoyllur Rit’i is performed every year in the month of May or June the date is not exact due to the Andean calendar, but it is between these two months. The festival of Mr. De Qoyllur Rit’i is one of the Andean festivities, located in the area of ​​Sinacara that congregates an endless number of pilgrim people devotees of the miraculous image, entire populations of southern Peru, also called Nations that are organizations of comparsas and devotees, come from different places of the provinces of Cusco.

It is considered the largest indigenous festival in America. Photo: Paul Vallejos

It is considered the largest indigenous festival in America. Photo: Paul Vallejos

After a five-hour walk you will reach the sanctuary of Señor. De Qoyllur Rit’i, then you have to make the salute of honor to the image of Christ miraculous. In the afternoon, all the comparsas make their official entrance through Nations, it is observed a total full of almost 200 comparsas giving their official salutation that lasts almost all the night, accompany different dancers that symbolize diverse mythical personages. The “pablitos” or “ucucos” who are the intermediaries between the Lord of Qoylloriti and the men and those who maintain the discipline during the liturgical acts, are people dressed in bear (black suit made of thick cloth and wool, with a chullo) Who keep order and the Peace that also call the soldiers of the Lord. The feast begins on the day of the Most Holy Trinity, when more than 10,000 pilgrims ascend to the limit of perpetual snow. Minimum temperatures are -4 ° C. The road is accompanied by a procession, fireworks and the symbolic market of the Alacitas (miniature handicraft fair).

Delegation of colorful dancers and "pabluchas". Photo: Óscar Condés

Delegation of colorful dancers and “pabluchas”. Photo: Óscar Condés

The central day after doing the ritual at sunrise is lowered from the snow in caravan headed by the calvary towards the sanctuary; Hours later the central mass is carried out later the procession of Mr. de Ccoyllorritti represented by Mr. de Tayancani, concludes with the farewell of each comparsa giving chants or (Watascama) the gentleman finally return towards the population of Mahuayani, soon to embark To their places of origin. The next day, the day of the serenade that begins with liturgical ceremonies in honor of Christ miraculous or also called peasant christ. In the afternoon the serenade begins with a dance show parading through the atrium and inside of the sanctuary; At midnight a group of strong Queros, inhabitants of which perhaps is the purest Quechua community of Peru, disguised as pabluchas, leaves towards the peaks of the snowy one (6.362 msnm) in search of the Star of the Snow that is locked in Its entrails and also place where the baptisms of the new dancers are made and judgments by the guards where they punish those people who have made mistakes and who already know at the foot of the snowfall since secret envelopes are sent that up there are read. Back to their communities, these strong settlers carry large blocks of ice on their backs to symbolically water their lands with the sacred water of the Ausangate.

Qoyllur Rit’i The end of the procession takes place in the ancient Inca capital of Cusco with the processions of Corpus Christi, the streets and squares are full of people, music and color.

Kimichu mentions the following:

The pilgrimage to the shrine of Qoyllur Rit’i is, for us children of the Andes, an event that condenses reality. It is the magic of the myth, which is melodiously felt with the group heart, the influence of the pentafonic winds and percussion, when each community must exercise its choreography, with script taken from the stars.

Then the group soul is tuned in by dancers, paulluchas and pilgrims to put all the times, the fields, the illusions and the life itself in a long collective sigh.

QOYLLUR RITILos Pabluchas of the Paucartambo Nation continue to arrive at the snowy Qolque Punku to worship Mr. de Qoyllur Riti, a cultural-religious expression that occurs at the foot of the snowy Ausangate, located in the department of Cusco at more than 6400 m.s.n.m

QOYLLUR RITILos Pabluchas of the Paucartambo Nation continue to arrive at the snowy Qolque Punku to worship Mr. de Qoyllur Riti, a cultural-religious expression that occurs at the foot of the snowy Ausangate, located in the department of Cusco at more than 6400 m.s.n.m

 

Because he, crossing the firmament with a huge tail of fire, sealed a secret and unfathomable pact of love that made the entrails of the Ukhu Pacha rumble all over the backbone of the Andes and splashed the seeds of the ancient Ayllus and Panacas, The ravines that tint green with the coastal sands, and among the brown waters that wind the lush jungles to the east, but above all among the myriad of inter-Andean valleys, in order to work on the stones of the soul, the feelings of the genetic memory Of the Ancestral Andean Nations. And so, from the very beginning and from the lungs of each community and of every nation summoned, vibrating to about 5 thousand meters of height, we renew in each full moon before the winter solstice, that moment Eternal when Pacha Mama, choosing the eternal snows of the Apu Sinakara, opened her breast to a swift, bright and metallic messenger of Hanan Pacha.

  • Location: Cusco Region.
  • Date: last week of May and 1st week of June.
  • Useful data
  • Location: Sinakara (4700 masl), district of Ocongate, province of Quispicanchi.
  • Climate: cold and dry.
  • Prom temperature: 02 ° C (36 ° F).

Description

It is the largest pilgrimage of indigenous nations in America. More than 10 thousand people arrive in Sinakara, at the foot of the snowy Ausangate (6362 masl), to worship a painting of the Child Jesus. It is very symbolic the ascent of a group of strong Queros to the summits of the snowy one to look for the Star of the Snow (Qoyllur Ritt’i), that is locked in its entrails. Returning to their Quechua communities, they will carry large blocks of ice on their backs to irrigate their lands with holy water.

Access

By air: daily flights Lima – Cusco (1 h).

Land route: Lima – Cusco (via Arequipa), 1650 km (24 hours).

Sources:

Kimichu Community KHIPU Ayllu -Nation Tawantinsuyu

 

 

2017-06-19T10:29:41+00:00

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