Pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i
Inscribed in 2011 (6.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
- Pabluchas performing traditional ritual to the Apu, snowcapped mountain
The Pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i combines elements from Catholicism and worship of pre-Hispanic nature deities. It begins fifty-eight days after the Christian celebration of Easter Sunday, when 90,000 people from around Cusco travel to the sanctuary, located in Sinakara hollow. Pilgrims are divided into eight ‘nations’ corresponding to their villages of origin: Paucartambo, Quispicanchi, Canchis, Acomayo, Paruro, Tawantinsuyo, Anta and Urubamba. The pilgrimage includes processions of crosses up and down the snow-capped mountain and a twenty-four hour procession, during which the Paucartambo and Quispicanchi nations carry images of the Lord of Tayancani and the Grieving Virgin to the village of Tayancani to greet the first rays of sunlight. Dance plays a central part in the pilgrimage: a hundred different dances are performed representing the different ‘nations’. The Council of Pilgrim Nations and the Brotherhood of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i direct the pilgrimage activities, its rules and codes of behaviour, and supply food, while pablitos or pabluchas, figures wearing garments of alpaca fibre and woven wool animal masks, maintain order. The pilgrimage encompasses a broad variety of cultural expressions and constitutes a meeting place for communities from different Andean altitudes engaged in different economic activities.
Decision 6.COM 13.38
The Committee (…) decides that [this element] satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as follows:
- R.1: Encompassing cultural expressions of diverse origins, the Pilgrimage of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i brings together Andean communities throughout the Cusco area, providing them a sense of identity and continuity;
- R.2: Its inscription on the Representative List could contribute to ensuring visibility of the intangible cultural heritage and to promoting intercultural dialogue and mutual respect among different communities with similar syncretic practices;
- R.3: Current and proposed measures reflect the efforts of the community, national and local authorities, and relevant institutions to safeguard the Pilgrimage and to protect the surrounding environment associated with it;
- R.4: The communities, through diverse institutions representing them, participated actively in the nomination process and provided their free, prior and informed consent;
- R.5: With the active participation of the community, the element was included in 2004 in the inventory entitled the Declarations of Cultural Heritage of the Nation, administered by the National Institute of Culture.
Inscribes Pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
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