SHADES OF CORPUS
CHRISTI IN CUSCO
is all celebrating. It is smartly dressed with balconies arranged
and multicolour altars. And everything is not enough to celebrate
the miracle "taytas" (father in quechua) and "mamachas"
(mother in quechua) who go along the Main Square in June as
the tradition of the Corpus Christi states in order to adore
the blessed and represented Christ Body at the Holy Eucharist.
The Sacred Form is the main reason for the Catholic World
celebration, but in the Archaeological capital of America
the representations of the saints, lovely virgins or Gospel
martyrs, have become into the main characters.
The Corpus Christi
would not be the same without the parade of the "Mamapacha"
dressed with refined dresses and valuable jewels given as
gifts by her Faithful. Or the Patron Santiago who dares to
enter on his white horse admired due to the elegancy of his
festive uniform and the temerity of his sword, or Saint Sebastian
the patron of soldiers and army officers.
Stories of caprices and sacred rebelliousness. The "Mamapacha"
Belén only allows being carried by her devotees. If
others try, the litter becomes heavier and it is impossible
to lift it. "It is true" affirm the people in Cusco
when they remember a group of soldiers who were unable to
lift the Patron of the ancient Inca Empire.
But the story is even more fascinating as the origin of the
image is very especial. It is said that it arrived in a place
called Piti Piti, at Callao Port, holding a written message
forbidding its transfer. Those who found it obey that.
If the Virgin of Belén is jealous with her porters,
the images of Saint Sebastian and Saint Jeronimo inspire their
parishes a deep desire of competence. As the officials, the
porters, the faithful and the whole community are involved
in a constant race.
In many opportunities, the believers of Saint Jeronimo have
hiden the litter in a truck to cheat the severe vigilance
of the people of another temple during its way of 10 kilometres
towards the center of Cusco.
But these are not the only Saints, we have also the Saint
of Marriages: Saint Antonio, the Saint of artisans: Saint
Blas, and the "Immaculate Virgin" also known as
"the pretty", as well as others beautiful, elegant
and huge images carried by sweaty devotees.
saints are competing among them talking with the "mamapachas"
or the "Señor de los Temblores".
They are indulgent, stubborn and even spoiled. They have become
humans to be closer to their people who celebrate squandering
faith, happiness and joy.
There is nothing missing in the Corpus Christy celebration.
The body is fed with good food and endless drinks. The soul
is fed with prayers and requests. Then the dairy routine comes
back until next year celebrations.
and photographs: Rolly Valdivia Chavez
to see more images at our Cusco
Peru Pictures - Photos & Multimedia Gallery
catholic saints and virgins scour the Main Square, as the inca
mummies, in beautiful litters of precios metals, did before,
during a ceremony made in honor to the Tayta Inti or Sun God.