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Peru

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Peru - Page Text Content

S: Ancient Civilizations of Peru 2012

FC: Ancient Civilizations of Peru

1: Downtown Lima still has narrow streets and wooden balconies. When the earthquakes damaged buildings, the old wooden balconies fell off and were reattached so some buildings have balconies dating back to the 1600s. Wooden shutters were replaced with glass only to let in more light. The church of St Francis was built over 3 30 foot deep pits to allow the pressures of earthquakes to move the earth without destroying the church. A system of catacombs underlies the church where the fathers buried their benefactors as the closest route to heaven. The frugal fathers dumped the bodies out of the coffins, covered the body with lime and resold the coffins to raise money for their charity work. With earthquake proof technologies borrowed from the Japanese, Lima is replacing traditional 4 story homes with taller buildings.

2: Lunch today was a dish called aji de gallina, chicken and potatoes in a yellow sauce. You stew and shred a whole chicken. Reserve stock. Place 2 cloves of garlic, half a jalapeno, and 2 - 3 tbsp. aji amarillo puree (if you can't get fresh aji amarillo), add a pinch of salt, and enough vegetable oil to cover, and puree until smooth. Set aside. In same unrinsed blender place 4 - 6 cloves garlic, and about 1/2 package of saltine crackers w/can of evaporated milk. Puree until smooth. Add a piece of white bread or leftover dinner roll and puree again. Add some of the pureed pepper mixture to your taste. Add about a cup of the warm chicken stock and blend together. In clean stew pot fry a whole onion in small amount of oil. When onions are slightly clear add about 1 tsp. cumin and small amount of turmeric. (Some people use Bijol for color but the turmeric adds nice flavor.) Toast the spices with the onions, then add chicken stock to pot. When stock is heated add cracker mixture to pot and stir over medium heat. If the sauce isn't as thick as you'd like simply put some back in the blender and add more crackers, puree and add to pot until desired thickness is reached. Add shredded chicken to pot. Add 1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans. (I prefer walnuts because they are softer.) Add some more of the pureed pepper mixture to your taste if you like it spicy, reserving some for table side so people can make their plate as spicy as they'd like. Add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. (Fresh grated is best, but you can use the pregrated kind if that's all you have.) Season with salt to your taste. Serve over white rice with sliced boiled egg, sliced boiled potatoes, and olives for garnish. *If it thickens too much the next day after refrigeration, simply add milk when re-heating to thin out.

3: Lima is the largest city in Peru and contains one third of the population of Peru. Lima sits on the coast, only 80 miles from the Andes, in a coastal desert, receiving from 4 to 6 inches of rain a year. Water comes to the city from rivers originating in the Andes and water flow is plentiful now as the glaciers melt but in twenty years, who knows what the water situation will be? Modern, bustling, prosperous, Lima and Peru are in the middle of economic growth spurred by a stable government with economic growth based on mining, petroleum and agriculture. The annual GDP has been increasing 7% annually and the poverty level ($2 per person per day) has dropped to 32% from about 60 percent. Tourists flock to Machu Pichu and neighboring Chileans come to Lima for a weekend of fine dining. 90% of the rainforest remains and incredible biodiversity still exists. Peru and Columbia have the largest number of bird species in the world and mammalian, piscine and amphibian diversity are among the highest in the world. The land area of Peru encompasses cool ocean (lots of fish), coastal desert, high mountains, pampas, snow covered mountain and rainforest, offering homes to many species. Since the population is concentrated in 3 cities, much of Peru is isolated with no roads. The road from the coast to Brazil was paved only 5 years ago. The areas of deforestation are along the roads. Iron security gates and electrical wires in front of homes and the prison like walls and watch towers that surround factories remind me that terrorist attacks on Lima only ended about 20 years ago. The early Spanish conquistadors seem to embarrass the Peruvians in the same way Columbus embarrasses us. The authenticated bones of Francisco Pizzaro lie in a chapel of the cathedral of Lima, but our guide was careful to state the Pizarro is only noted for founding the city of Lima and not for his other exploits.

5: Chiclayo A breeze from the Pacific 20 kilometers away kept us cooler in the intense sun and kept the mosquitoes at bay. The Tucume ruins look like man made hills with lots of erosion. The city encircles a sacred hill. Thor Heyerdahl got excited about these flat topped pyramids with their depictions of rafts and ocean going trade. The drive north to Tucume passed rice mills (molinos), the home of King Kong (cakes with caramel) while the drive south of town passed sugar cane fields. On Sunday, the motor taxi drivers took their families on an excursion to swim in the river. Lunch was goat and beans at a hacienda, followed by a demonstration of Paso fino horses dancing. We stopped briefly at the actual site of the grave of The Lord of Sipan. El Brujo's naked dancing men turn out to be prisoners on their way to be executed, followed by the clothed victors. El Brujo is another case of a museum devoted to the excavation of a grave, this time the tatooed woman. We are not allowed to take photos in the museums, but the museum do not sell postcards of the iconic figures. I will need to plagarize photos from National Geographic which has supported much of the archaeolgical work. Only the devoted tourist travels to see the pyramids of the north. | Tucume pyramid Moche civilization 100 BC to 600 AD

7: Lord of Sipan Museum | Paso Fino horses

9: El Brujo (Moche) | Naked Prisoners El Brujo | Witches market Chiclayo | El Brujo

10: The northern archaelogical sites are all built with mud bricks and have suffered erosion over the years until they are scarcely recognizable. Tucume looks like a melted hill. The entrance ramp and flat top are barely discernible. Digging proceeds very slowly. At the Temple of the Moon, only the first outer layer of 5 to 7 layers is being excavated and the Temple of the Sun has not been touched. Policing of the sites seems minimal. In contrast, the museums that display the spectacular burial sites are excellent and detailed. The museum of the Lord of Sipan showed the excavations in painstaking detail. 7 boodies were buried on top of each other. One tomb was robbed, but three were found intact, the last lord of Sipan, about 700 AD, a priest, and the old lord of Sipan, about ?. Each grave enclosed everyday pots and drinking vessels most with human or animal faces. The Moche were great metal workers. the ear pieces found the tombs show gold and turquoise depictions of warriors.The spectacular Royal Tombs of Sipan museum painstakingly traces the excavation of three tombs of the Moche culture, from 0 AD to 700 AD. Each floor of the museum depicts a different tomb in the order that archaeologists excavated. We see the face plates, the earrings, then the huge necklaces, then the breastplates, etc. Our guide explained the significance of each item as it was uncovered, down to the bones showing deformations due to war and the offerings and other bodies in the tomb, including dogs, headless llamas and guards with no feet. The metal work is superb and the ceramic drinking vessels anthropomorphic. The fashion of wearing large ear pieces that went through the ear lobe and were tied behind the head persisted through all these cultures. Also the custom of wearing a nose piece hanging from the nose and covering the mouth. Headdresses with feathers made the rulers look much taller. the actual Sipan site showed a recreation of the top tomb. El Brujo showed the first wall friezes and a line of naked male prisoners on their way to be sacrificed. | have excavated the interior of the temple and we saw the room where the prisoners were given coca and/or san pedro cactus to quiet them before ritual sacrifice and where the bodies were dumped after sacrifice. The facade of the Temple of the Moon is huge with many layers of friezes. the city lay in the plaza between the temple of the sun and the temple of the moon. the natives had a habit of rebuilding their temples periodically and would simply cover over the earlier temple and build the new temple on top of the old temple. the temple of the moon has 7 layers. the city had specialized workers who did not produce food directly, like the weavers and potters. Chan Chan was the largest adobe city. We only saw one building full of maze like hallways and storage spaces, possibly for mummies or ceramic offerings. in chan chan the inhabitants obtained water by digging very large wells. the other cities obtained water by digging irrigation canals to divert rivers carrying water from the andes. the canals are used by farmers today. | I purchased a King Kong San Roque Manjar cake. The cake consists of layers of cookie, caramel, peanut cream and pineapple. Based on a traditional Peruvian desert, the cake became popular commercially at the time of the first King Kong movie and is seen on street vendors stalls.

11: Trujillo is one of the three largest cities in Peru. While Chiclayo is gritty and commercial, Trujillo is colorful and colonial. The side streets are paved, the mud brick buildings covered in bright paints, the motor taxis are replaced by car taxis, and people walk the streets at night. Our lunch at Huanachaco beach overlooked the ocean and the fishermen headed out to sea in their totora reed kayaks (caballitos). The boats are ridden like horses and paddled like kayaks. Lunch had three appetizers - a potato roll, a wonton skin filled with cheese and served with avocado salsa and marinated octopus. The main course included arroz con marisco y asafran, sea bass with lemon sauce and veggies, and sweet potato chips, yucca and potato. Dessert was fresh fruit with condensed milk and passion fruit sauce. Tomorrow we leave the coast and head to the highlands. trading mud brick pyramids for stone pyramids. We depart Cuzco's high elevation 12000 ft as soon as we arrive, heading for the 9000 feet of the sacred valley. We are promised coca tea on arrival to aid in our altitude adjustment.

12: Temple of the Moon Chimu 600 AD | Temple of the Moon | Pyramid of the Sun The single largest adobe structure in the Americas Two thirds was washed away then treasure hunters diverted the Moche River to aid in plundering the pyramid.

13: Hairless peruvian dog | Chan Chan capital of Chimu culture | Totora Reed boats of Huarchaco Beach | The fisherman rides the boat like a horse, paddles it like a kayak and puts his catch in the back. Modern boats incorporate some styrofoam.

14: Our lunch at Huanachaco beach overlooked the ocean and the fishermen headed out to sea in their totora reed kayaks (caballitos). The boats are ridden like horses and paddled like kayaks. Lunch had three appetizers - a potato roll, a wonton skin filled with cheese and served with avocado salsa and marinated octopus. The main course included arroz con marisco y asafran, sea bass with lemon sauce and veggies, and sweet potato chips, yucca and potato. Dessert was fresh fruit with condensed milk and passion fruit sauce. | chicha corn beer chicha morado pisco sour causa de limena lomo saltado maize potato sweet potato squash peanut (peanut necklace sipan) beans cocoa coca pepper fruits lukuma prickly pear custard apple gooseberry looks like tomatillo chirimoya Capybaras are a large 100 pound semi aquatic rodent relative of the guinea pig declared a fish by the pope. Imagine a rat as big as Bodhi.

15: The guide's murmured aside, we had to cancel a flight today at Trujillo, very unusual, only reminded me that we could not see the hucana hill at the Temple of the Moon. That is, until this morning when coastal fog detained us in Trujillo and we now sit in a hotel in Lima at the airport. Despite being a short walk across the street from the airport, we must still wake at 3 am for our 6 am flight. Luggage scanning in Trujillo consisted of the inspector hefting our suitcase to a table, opening the suitcase and moving around the contents. | The magic potion for diarrhea and stomach upset is: a little anise seed a little clove cinnamon turnip greens celery greens Andean mint (munia) black tea

16: Typical trapezoidal Inca doorway at Olantaytambo Ruins | The Inca developed crops for different altitudes | Water still flows through Incan aqueducts

17: Since we lost one day in travel, we were whisked off to two days worth of activity in the sacred valley. The sacred valley is the home of the sacred river Urubamba which drains 3000 mile east to the Atlantic Ocean. The climate is very temperate, with only a wet season (Nov to Apr) and a dry season (May to Oct where the low temperature is 32 degrees). Only one harvest a year. The mountains are covered with green. A certain kind of white large kernel maize grows only in this valley and will not keep true to type if planted elsewhere. At the alpaca sanctuary we learned that alpaca are domesticated vicuna and llama are domesticated guacano. We visited an area of restored Inca terraces, a school and a ceramics studio. I became more ill as the day progressed and could not eat anything by dinner time. I got into bed in my clothes and just slept. Our guide sent me a hot pot of his home remedy which worked much better than immodium and I actually managed to hike during our trip to Machu Picchu.

19: Since we lost one day in travel, we were whisked off to two days worth of activity in the sacred valley. The sacred valley is the home of the sacred river Urubamba which drains 3000 mile east to the Atlantic Ocean. The climate is very temperate, with only a wet season (Nov to Apr) and a dry season (May to Oct where the low temperature is 32 degrees). Only one harvest a year. The mountains are covered with green. A certain kind of white large kernel maize grows only in this valley and will not keep true to type if planted elsewhere. At the alpaca sanctuary we learned that alpaca are domesticated vicuna and llama are domesticated guacano. We visited an area of restored Inca terraces, a school and a ceramics studio. I became more ill as the day progressed and could not eat anything by dinner time. I got into bed in my clothes and just slept. Our guide sent me a hot pot of his home remedy which worked much better than immodium and I actually managed to hike during our trip to Machu Picchu. The sun was hot for our visit, but now this afternoon we are getting a real tropical downpour. The only remaining train in Peru goes from Cusco to Aguas Calientes along the Urubama river and the tracks are frequently washed out by the rains. The train is narrow gauge. Aguas Calientes is tiny, the streets are stairways and our hotel is built right into the rock hillside. Machu Picchu (old mountain) is built on a very large boulder between 3 fault lines. Overlooking Machu Picchu is Huayana Picchu (new mountain) which is terraced and was to serve as an observatory. Machu Picchu consists of many terraces made from dirt and stones hauled in from miles away. Piles of boulders at Machu Picchu attest to the unfinished nature of the city. Only the Inca settled in this location. The temples are carefully fitted into the existing stone and the finest most fitted stonework is used in the temples, especially visible in the temple of the condor where boulders are used for the condor wings. The Inca mud bricks have survived the wet season because the mortar incorporated urine and the brick included llama wool. by dinner I was sick again and headed to bed without eating and finally got 8 hours sleep. I felt so well that i ate breakfast and spent the morning in my bathroom. Victor felt terrible that he had not been more strict with me at breakfast, so I only ate a little rice and banana for lunch. Of course the big news has been the terrorists. I received the state dept bulletin the Wednesday evening just before dinner and shared it with our guide. He forwarded to his people. It made Peru news Thursday and worried the tourism industry. Victor was finally cleared to share it with the group Friday night after we visited Machu Picchu and saw a few armed police with handguns. Now sunday morning rumors are flying that terrorists were found but no news reports confirm this. The story is that the US intercepted a phone call between Senderistas discussing the publicity that would result from kidnapping US citizens. The Peruvian side is that the US should have handled the problem privately with Peru instead of broadcasting the problem. Who knows what the US side is. So we are told to take taxis and to go places together, not alone. But Ron hiked up to the Gate of the Sun alone and had no problems.

22: My stomach has been quite upset and not improving, so Victor is bribing me. I will get to eat ceviche in 3 days if I follow his diet regime strictly. So dinner was chicken broth, rice, and strawberry applesauce (very good) plus more remedy that the hotel made up for me in Aguas Calientes. We rode the train back from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. I had the river side so could appreciate the force of the Urubamba river. Peru is building a hydroelectric plant near Aguas Calientes. On our drive to Cusco, I came to appreciate the scenery more. Heavy clouds, light rain, greenery to the top of the mountains and green and yellow crops gave the world a green glow, soft like Ireland. All houses rich and poor have walls around them so that I cannot see the houses and observe daily life. many walls have political slogans. Blue green Eucalyptus trees from Australia mingle with native trees. Speed bumps are plentiful even on the highways. Tomorrow Victor will take us to the baby alpaca sweaters that have been calling Janets name and I will visit the center for traditional textiles. The vendors are very anxious to sell to us, one is showing me paintings through the outside window while I eat breakfast and gesturing that I must come outside.

24: Cochineal turns orange with salt, cochineal lipstick and rouge | Cuy for dinner | Corn row braids for fertility

26: Chinchero street | Original Inca wall incorporated into a restaurant

27: The best Inca stonework that I saw was in the convent of Santo Domingo. Stones lining the inlaid doorway had fourteen points to line up with other stones. Our first morning in Cusco was a free morning and I went to the baby alpaca store and bought 3 to bring home. The company provides transportation from the hotel, so I had no problems. Only $60 each here in Peru, compared to $5000 to $7000 at home. Then I went to the Center for Traditional Textiles where everything was very subdued natural colors and I had a hard time choosing. But I did buy a book that I cannot get at home. The Carneval parade was passing by and I enjoyed the cars decked with textiles, the costumes and the dancing. Water plays an important role in Carneval and from the second floor balcony a watcher was spraying the parade. At the main square, shaving cream and water guns were in heavy use. Lunch was wood fired oven baked bread, chicken soup, rice with a little sauce and baked apple. Even the restaurant contained Inca stone walls. The Basilica of Cusco was also built on an Inca temple. Little touches in the church pointed out the syncretism. For the last supper Jesus had guinea pig, Mary wears a huge triangular mountain shaped robe and an Inca sun crown. The altars are both silver and gold, the sacred metals of the Inca for the sun and the moon. The Christ image of the church is Senor de los Temblones (earthquakes). The church doors are very tall to accomodate the large floats that are carried in and out of the church on feast days, just like the Inca paraded the mummies of their ancestors around the plazas. pre colonial music in the Andes was mostly on wind instruments and with percussion. Almost any local material was used- wood, clay, bamboo, bone, conch shell, cow horn for the spectacual waukawauka, deer hoof. The Andean pan pipes are not really pan pipes, they are called antara and use a different musical scale than the Greek pan pipes. Folk music styles are regional but it is hard to find pre colonial music. Some survives and is played at festivals and some Quechua tunes are still sung as part of Catholic Church services with Spanish words.

28: Sacsayhuaman Fortress

29: Temple of Koricancha now Church of Santo Domingo

30: The Inca capital city and its immediate surroundings contained numerous shrines, temples and other sacred places; rocks, caves, springs etc., venerated by the population of Cuzco. All these places were called wakas. The wakas were connected with each other by imaginary lines that radiated from Qorikancha and were known as seqes. In Quechua seqe means "line". Qorikancha was the centre from which the seqes spread. Around sixteen important wakas were located within the walls or close to it. Among these wakas were buildings, squares, sacred stones and fountains. The most detailed and complete description of the seqe system is contained in the treatise - History of the New World (1653) - written by the Jesuit Bernabe Cobo. Cobo, in his turn, copied the list of the seqes from another manuscript, now lost, by Juan Polo de Onegardo. Benabe Cobo lists and describes three hundred and twenty eight wakas connected with each other by forty one or forty two seqes. Each seqe line linked from three to fifteen wakas. The seqes were distributed among the four provinces of the Inca Empire. The provinces Chinchaysuyu, Antisuyu and Qollasuyu had nine seqes each, while in the Kuntisuyu province fourteen or fifteen seqes. The painting made by the Cuzco artist Miguel Araoz Cartagena shows us a scheme of the seqes of Cuzco. Qorikancha is the centre of the radiating lines. The four background colours mark the four provinces of the Tawantinsuyu Empire: the orange colour corresponds to Chinchaysuyu, the yellow to Antisuyu, the green to Qollasuyu and the red to Kuntisuyu. The lines represent forty one seqes. The points on the lines symbolise the three hundred and twenty eight wakas on the seqes. In the 1970's the anthropologist Tom Zuidema developed a hypothesis according to which seqe system was closely related to the Inca calendar. He suggested that each day of the year corresponded to one of the wakas. On that day cult was rendered to it and offerings were made. Besides Zuidema presumed that the wakas served as places for astronomic observations

31: The deities venerated in Qorikancha were personified celestial bodies and meteorological phenomena. In order to understand these beliefs, it is necessary to make reference to Inca astronomy, which is known to us through some brief mentions in colonial chronicles and through the folk astronomy of Quechua communities of today The painting by the Cuzco artist Migual Araoz Cartegena shows the Milky Way over Cuzco, in the months of July and August, when the sky is clear and most of the astronomical phenomena venerated by the Incas can be easily observed. In the Andes, the Milky Way is called "mayu" (celestial river). Unlike the Western constellations composed of groups of stars, the Andean culture distinguishes dark spots against the light background of the Milky Way and identifies them with silhouettes of animals that have come to drink its waters and darken its shining with their shadows. These spots are called "yana phuyu" (black clouds). On the right hand side of the painting Machaguay, or the big water serpent, appears. In the centre, two small figures of Yutu (partridge) and Hamp'atu (toad) can be seen. They are followed by the female llama with two shining eyes corresponding to the stars Alpha and Beta Centauri. Underneath in the upside-down position is her cub, the baby llama. The llamas are chased by the fox (Atoq) with red eyes. In some communities, a figure of the shepherd, with his arms extended towards the llamas, is seen in place of the fox. His legs coincide with the rear paws of the fox. The chronicles of Polo de Onedegardo, dating to 1585, reads: "...They adore two other stars called Catuchillay y Urcuchillay, that pretend to be a sheep (llama) with a lamb. They also adore another star, Machacuay, which is in charge of all the serpents and snakes, so that they do not do them any evil, and in general they (the Incas), believed that all the animals and birds had their likeness in the sky, whose responsibility was their procreation and augmentation". Possibly, when speaking about "stars", Polo de Onedegardo referred to "yana phuyu", a concept which is totally strange to Western astronomy and thus could not be fully understood by the author of the chronicle.

32: A cooking demonstration before our lunch today. First dish was ceviche served with sweet potato, then causa limano with aji crillojo, which is layered potato with avocado and fish that was originally served to the soldiers fighting in the war with Chile by the poorer women as their contribution to the "cause". Lomos saltado, salted beef, is a quick stir fry of tender loin with red onion and pepper. With our actual lunch we had a delicious chicha morado (drink made from purple corn) and peruvian doughnuts made of squash and sweet potato.

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