Andean Rituals


A Virtual Exhibition on Ritual, Costume and Custom in the Andes

By Kathleen B. Connell ’20

Rituals, costumes, and customs play synergetic roles in the development and maintenance of cultural norms. Celebrations are events where these roles coalesce to create and extend the bonds of tradition among neighbors and across generations. These festivals allow locals and visitors alike to experience local customs and how the community celebrates their similarities and respects their differences. The topic of how ritual, costume, and custom shape festival celebrations in Andean communities will be presented in this virtual exhibition. This exhibition also examines how traditional Andean ritual dances were impacted by external forces, particularly since the Spanish conquest of South America in the 16th Century.

This virtual exhibition introduces ethnographic materials from the Festival of the Virgin or Mamacha Carmen in Paucartambo, near Cuzco, PerĂº. The Festival of the Virgin is one of the most widely recognized festivals in the region, and it bridges indigenous and mestizo identity into a creative ritual of mocking neighboring tribes and remembering the outcomes of Spanish conquest. Many of these dances are also performed at Inti Raymi, a festival celebrating the winter solstice.

The dances in this exhibit include of the Qhapaq Negro, Cocasaru, and the Qoyacha dances (see drop down menu).

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