A Festival in the Andes

In the village of Quyo, Peru, we watch a three-day festival which celebrates the Ascension of the Virgin Mary into heaven. These dancers, dressed as Inca chiefs, perform after coming out from mass in the Cathedral.

Most of the Indians in the Andes mountains converted to Christianity in the 1500's after the Spanish conquest.


A Festival in the Andes

page 281


Today most Indians call themselves Catholic, although their religion is actually a unique blend of Spanish Catholicism, Inca and pre-Inca beliefs and customs, and even more recent Liberation theology.

This is a front view of the Inca chief mask.

The animal mask on the left is made from the skinned head of a goat.

The pig demon mask on the right is carved from wood and then painted.

Many of the animal masks represent certain characteristics that are not always desirable, yet often present, in human behavior.

Many of the masks represent different peoples from South America.

The mask on the right is a whistling gaucho from Argentina.

All through the celebration people come up to us and encourage us to make their photo.

Everyone is interested in making sure we are enjoying the festival.

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