Cultural & Traditional in Peru
The wonderful building styles in each of its archaeological sites, ranging from the Inca untuil Mochica, through the Chimu and Chachapoyas, not forgetting of Caral (built 10,000 years ago) make this country South American tourist delightful.
Peru, being one of the first and biggest Spanish Viceroyalty colonies in the Americas, has buildings with styles from Europe truly admirable. These are impregnated Andean imagery, whose union is constructive its peak in the Baroque style buildings from seventeenth century.
Cusco, the main destination of those traveling to Peru, has stunningly beautiful archaeological sites as Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Sacsayhuaman, Pisac, Choquequirao and Raqchi. Similarly colonial architecture of this city is built on stone foundations of old Inca palaces, similarly exploited to build beautiful homes with inka's walls.
Culture in Peru is a fascinating mixture of the ancient Inca civilization, the Spanish conquistadores and immigrants such as Chinese, Japanese and Europeans. And the main thing that binds them together is the strong belief in the importance of family and religion.
Arts and crafts
Art has always been an important part of Peru´s culture, even before Inca times. Local people still spin and weave the wool of alpacas, llamas and sheep into lovely colorful garments that they then sell to fascinated tourists. They also make beautiful blankets that have culturally important mythological symbols. But wool is not the only thing they weave-. The inhabitants of the floating islands of Titicaca Lake weave reeds in order to build the islands and the houses where they live. Other handmade crafts made here are wood carvings and jewelry, especially gold and silver. If you have been in Cusco already, you must be familiar with the “retablos”- the wooden altars from Ayacucho, which depict religious or everyday scenes.
Music and dance
As much as Peruvian enjoy food and drinks at a party, they love music and dancing as well. Andean music is famous around the world for the tranquil and serene sounds of its flutes and panpipes. Before these were made, the ancient people here used to make sounds out of sea shells, reeds and animal bones. As a result of its mixed and varied cultures, Peru has a diverse folklore with a wide variety of dances and musical styles. The Spanish influences can be seen in the use of “charango”, harps and violins, which perfectly accompany the native drums and other instruments.
The rich and globally-appreciated Peruvian cuisine is also a result of the melting pot of cultures in this area. The ancient technique of Pachamanca is still used nowadays, consisting of placing meat and potatoes in a hole in the ground and covering it with hot stones. Peruvians are not afraid of experimenting with new flavors, combining different aromas; after having used for thousands of years mainly meat, potatoes, quinoa, alpaca, maize and guinea pig, they have slowly introduced the European dishes brought by conquistadores and immigrants, in this way lifting Peruvian cuisine to new heights, making it as respected and appreciated as the French and Italian one.
If you travel to Peru, you will see that every plaza has at least one church or cathedral, if not more. Although Christianity was brought to Peru 500 years ago by the Spaniards, the Inca people who had been living here were already a deeply spiritual people. They worshipped things like the sun, mountain peaks, stones and made animal sacrifices, all of which the Spanish considered pagan and tried to eradicate. However, as much as they tried, they never reached certain remote communities that have retained their faith and religious practices. In any case, what is left today of religion in Peru is something called “syncretism”, a mixture of the Inca beliefs and Christian values.