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Peru: Cultural Diversity

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Peru: Cultural Diversity

The cultural diversity in Peru is evident, not only in the characteristics of the Peruvians, but also in their folklore, customs and traditions. Peruvians are the result of the fusion of cultures that have great European, African and Asian influences. Cultural diversity reflects the multiplicity and interaction of cultures that coexist in the world and that, therefore, are part of the common heritage of humanity. Cultural diversity is manifested by the diversity of language, religious beliefs, land management practices, art, music, social structure, crop selection, diet and every conceivable number of other attributes of human society. preser The cultural diversity in Peru favors the development of the country due to the characteristics that it presents as ethnic, social, traditions, regions, fauna, flora and landscaping resources. All this makes Peru in the eyes of the world and attract the attention of many tourists, important businessmen and leaders of large nations who see a great possibility of commercialization and agreements. Cultural diversity in Peru is divided into three well-defined sectors. Western culture is present mainly on the coast and large cities, with ideas and customs of the Western person. Another sector is the Andean in the mountains of the country with a different region, societies and culture customs, economic means and activities. The jungle is the last sector, with many ethnic groups and communities spread throughout the vast territory of the Peruvian jungle. Let´s know of some of the most representative cultural ethnicities in Peru:

 

Shipibo Culture:

  • The Shipibos culture belong to the great Pano linguistic family. This linguistic family includes more than thirty ethnic groups in the Peruvian Amazon. The majority of the Shipibos live in the Ucayali Region in the lower jungle of Peru. They do not live in large villages, but rather, in small community groups scattered along the rivers in order to have a more rational use of agricultural land. In many cases, their villages are flooded or washed away by the flooding of the river and they simply move and build a new one. The Shipibos cover their needs by manufacturing everything that is indispensable. So, if they want to travel, they build a canoe, if they want to eat; they go fishing, hunting or harvesting; If they want to dress, they make their clothes. Its markets are the jungle itself, with its plants, its animals, its rivers and its lagoons. Fishing and hunting is a men's task, which they carry out while women dedicate themselves to the care of the home and children and produce the daily objects and crafts that they now sell to buy some industrial goods. However, this does not apply to all groups since many are far removed from the modern world and its influences.

Aymara Culture:

 

  • The Aymaras are an indigenous ethnic group from the Andean and highland regions of South America, about 2 million people live in Bolivia, Peru and Chile. The Aymara Culture was developed in the highland region for many centuries before becoming a people subjected to the Inca Culture, and later of the Spaniards in the century. With the Spanish-American wars of Independence (1810-1825) the Aymaras became citizens of the countries of Bolivia and Peru, but after the War of the Pacific (1879-1883) Chile annexed territories and acquired a large Aymara population.

Ashaninka Culture:

  • The Ashaninka constitute a people proud of their culture, and configured with a deep feeling of freedom. They have suffered, but they have also fought against all those whose actions cause damage to their territory and culture. They have opposed and combated predatory intruders at different times in the history of the Amazon. They have offered resistance to the rubber extractors, to the loggers of the Amazonian trees, to the terrorists who tried to impose a negative ideology, to the gold extractors of the rivers that devastate the flora and fauna. Undoubtedly, it is the most prominent ethnic group and permanent guardian against the destruction of the Peruvian Amazon. The Ashaninka people are an Amazonian ethnic group belonging to the Arawak linguistic family, they have traditionally been better known as campas. The first testimonies of the Ashaninka presence in the Amazon are bronze weapons, such as axes, found in the territory they occupy before the emergence of the Inca Empire. Some contacts with this culture are evident judging by the development of textile and musical techniques. Since March 2008, the Ashaninka culture is recognized by the Regional Government as the official language in Ayacucho, at the same level as Quechua and Spanish.  

Lamas Culture:

  • Lamas is a peaceful town that seems lost in time. Located in the high Amazon, it has the image of being an Andean town in the process of change, and not without reason. As we pointed out, it is believed that the residents of Lamas have come hundreds of years from the mountainous regions and have retained their customs, while they adapted to a jungle environment; the people still value their Inca lineage. Lamas culture is also know as the "City of Three Floors" because it is placed on three levels of terraces, on a hill of 800 m: the lowest level, known as Waico, is inhabited by settlers who speak a combined dialect of Quechua and Cahuapana , the latter a language of the jungle; they walk barefoot, but they are quite skillful with their hands, weaving colonial style clothes and many classic ornaments of their culture; Many women wear folded blue skirts, embroidered white blouses and ribbons of hair, while men wear tight pants and wear their unbuttoned jackets. The girls wear the dresses with bright colors, as do all "Lamistos", during party times. The second level of Lamas contains the commercial area, where you go shopping and stores. And on the third level, where perhaps the aboriginal aristocracy lived once, is the town square and the church.

Quechua Culture:

  • When we refer to Quechua culture, it is a name given to native indigenous peoples or emigrants from certain countries such as Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Bolivia. So it is evident that it is a very diverse and large group that is found in a great variety of countries. It is a town whose descendants come from the Inca empire, they were also living from the fifteenth century in the altiplano and foothills areas. The Quechua culture is known to be very advanced farmers and very good livestock, also they also developed techniques for the development of architecture, textiles, metallurgy and medicine resulting in a really complex civilization in all its aspects, besides having been a central part of what was the Inca empire.

Qéros culture:

  • Qéros are considered as the last direct descendants of the Incas. They live in Peru, in the mountains of the Andes of the Vilcanota mountain range in the province of Paucartambo, approximately 90 kilometers from Cusco, the ancient Inca capital. According to estimations the tribe is integrated by 1500 people, who live in different communities called Hatún Q'ero, Japu, Kiko, Marcapata etc. The Japu community has 75 families, a total of 350 people. They live in the heights of 2000 to 4800 meters above sea level in scattered places called Cochamarca, Yanaruma, Tinki, Racchí, Lekepampa and Japu. The Japu community has a school and a municipal administration. The mayor is elected every two years. Since the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century, the Q 'eros had to work as slaves for their employers in their own lands. Only in 1963 the Peruvian state freed the Q'eros from the servitude expropriating the "hacendados" or alleged owners. Survivors were assigned the lands. Now they live in the heights mentioned above. The Q'eros speak Quechua, the ancient Inca language, including many words from Spanish.
As we see, cultural diversity is of vital importance because it proposes respect on the part of neighbors, those who surround and do not think in the same way. Likewise, it implies respect on the part of the authorities that have power in the community in which they live.

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