Saturday, December 8, 2012

Moray, Peru, spring festival and fun!

 On this fine day, where the sun came and went behind the clouds and the clouds helped by the winds shrouded and then unveiled the beauty of the mountains around us the people in the communities around the Moray Inca Ruins were celebrating the coming of spring, rain and yet another growing and grazing season. I had had the joy of being in the audience the previous day for the festival of the same celebration 'at home' in Calca by the Urco Inca site the day before, and it was a pleasure to be able to join the audience in the dance and music part in a different part of the Andes. There were no bleachers here, people were standing in a tight circle around the dance 'stage'. I was taken in by the many folks in attendance and by the magnificent backdrop to this celebration of life and living.
There was music galore and young people from the local schools performing ritual dances belonging to this springy season - it was fun and bright and ensured large smiles on the faces of the audience. Including me =-)
If you look closely at the photo below you may notice that... this young man is 'flying' - no, it is not because the air is so thin we all just bounced along up here. These dances are just highly highly energetic. They also go on for 10-15 mins at a time and all I can say it, it is a good thing that everyone is trained to do this and have lived up here for probably all of their lives. I would have keeled over in less than five minutes. The air is thin and ..... your system needs to be accustomed to such rigorous moving about. Thus... as usual I was moving at a dignified royal pace - never too fast and never quite at a full stop. 
 And the girls, not moving any less than the boys. All wearing traditional clothing - for the boys the grassy hat added to make them look more like birds - the girls yielding their stone slings to catch the boys, it is after all a dance to spring, abundant harvest and  good fortune. Each and every dance by the way is a story of some kind. For the uninitiated onlooker perhaps not so easy to interpret but... the ones who have this culture in their bloodstream it is not too hard to follow along and enjoy the story.
And a person with just the visuals ...... well, for me anyways, it was delightful and moving to watch the show.
 A hundred meters or so away from this colourful spectacle we were once again at the site of beautifully executed ruins. They are everywhere one goes in this beautiful country, Peru, - even if history and ruins may not be the main preference of a visitor it is quite difficult to not be taken in by the magnificence of the abilities and knowledge that the Incas and their predecessors possessed.
Staircases taking a person up from the bottom of this 'upside down pyramid' - once upon a time used as a climate controlled green house - depending on which level you plant your crop you can choose to give it cooler or warmer growing conditions.
 Please don't ask me to describe it further, for..... I am a weaver and am not exactly sure how it works, but... impressive, that is what I know that it is and here I am, at the top, and that is where I stayed - I watched a very little man at the very bottom lay down in the middle of the circle to perhaps feel the power of the earth (pachamama) move him, perhaps it was like a battery recharger. I certainly would not on that day have been able to make it both down and up in one go. And..... had not packed for an overnight experience at the bottom..... so instead went back to the car and then we continued to Chinchero, where the next day.... I would partake in a natural dye workshop.
Photo by Emerita

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