Local Traditions, Cusco
There are little ceramic bulls on all the rooftops in the Sacred Valley. They are supposed to bring good luck, and fertility, to the household. Many roofs had a cross between the bulls.
Some roofs also have flowers. The flowers go up the day you put the roof on (even if the doors and windows aren't in yet) and there is a celebration.
In general, if you can identify the hat, you can tell if a woman is single or married, and where she comes from.
In the Sacred Valley, hats are white with tall crowns to keep the wearers cool. Higher in the Andes, they wear flatter and warmer styles, ranging from felt "bowlers" to colorful creations the size of a platter.
Single girls wear something completely different. Most of them seemed to be knit stocking caps, sometimes quite long.
Sapo is a common bar game. You throw small weighted disks onto something that looks like a tall nightstand. There are holes in the top, and compartments in the drawer underneath are assigned point values. You get the highest scores if you can get the disks into hard to hit places on the top, such as the open mouth of a small frog statue.
in Cusco the tradition when it's someone birthday it is not only to enjoy a few drinks out but when it strikes midnight the birthday boy/girl has a raw egg cracked on their head, it considered a priviledge & a sign of someone being popular!!! I had the pleasure of sharing this moment, very funny.
The Incans were obsessed with coca leaves. And they still are. Coca is a way of life like having a latte in the morning.
The traditional coca ceremony goes something this... You take three coca leaves of similar size. Organize them into a fan shape with the biggest leaf in the middle. Fold the leaves horizontally, then vertically. Put them in your mouth and chew. The chemcials will be slowly released. The physical act is less important than the spiritual significance. So you should perform the ceremony in a quiet, peaceful place.
Coca leaves will have different effect on people. I didn't feel anything the first couple of times I tried it. I suspect if you keep doing it, you'll feel something.
Coca leaves is very popular among the locals. We gave our Inca Trail porters bags of coca leaves as gifts. Also, you can buy these things that look like a chocolate balls. I don't know what they are called. But locals chew it with coca leaves because it helps release the alkaloids in coca leaves. The porters really appreciated the gifts. You can buy them for 2-5 sols per bag. They can be picked up in Ollantaytambo from street vendors before you start the Inca Trail.
In the Sacred Valley, it is very common to see women carrying their young children on their back, wrapped in a colorful shawl. It seems that children are never far from their mothers in this area of Peru. The amazing thing is that, for all the many children we saw, we only heard one cry -- the child of our horse guide's aunt. It must be a great way to build the mother-child bond.
One of the more fascinating subjects for me to read about is how Christianity has adapted to local indigenous customs wherever it has spread. While this started as early as the Romans (placing Christmas near Saturnalia and adopting many of its customs) it continued with the Spanish as they conquered Latin America. This blending is most obvious when one observes the painitings of the Cusco School, but it is also evident in more everyday art. A perfect example is this depiction of the trinity concept outside a church im Maras. Unlike traditional Catholic depiction, this shows three similar Christ-like figures. This is typical of the Cusco School and not an aberration. It was just the Inca's way of understanding what must have been a difficult concept to assimilate.
For the first time I celebrated Easter in a foreign country. Of course I was very interested to see, what other people do on such a holiday.
In Cusco there is a big ceremony taking place at the Plaza de Armas. For hourse people follow a Jesus-Staute to get afterwards a benediction in front of the cathedral.
Locals go home to eat a 12-course meal...
An interesting experience, also it might be hard to understand everything for no native speakers.
The flag of Cusco looks like the gay flag... You had to know it before believing than any place in Cusco in gay-addicted...
Le drapeau de la ville de Cusco ressemble au drapeau gay. Fallait le savoir avant de croire que tout Cusco est gay-addicted ..
for the pictura, around 1 sol for the backpacker, or 1 US dollar for the american tourist.
you can see in San Blas, the name of the woman is Enriqueta!!