Photographer's Note

Cusco, located in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range, used to be the capital of the Inca Empire between the XIIIth century until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in 1532.

According to an Inca legend, the city was built by Sapa Inca Pachacuti, the man who transformed the Kingdom of Cusco from a sleepy city-state into the vast empire of Tahuantinsuyu. Many believe that the city was planned as an effigy in the shape of a puma, a sacred animal.

Cusco is breathtaking, not only because of the incredible stone craftmanship of the Incas or the beautiful colonial architecture built on the Incan infrastructure, but also because of its high (3.400m) altitude. AMS (“Acute mountain sickness”) manifests itself thru headache, fatigue, stomach illness, dizziness, and/or sleep disturbance. Locals offer a tea made of coca leaves (Erythroxylon coca) to cure this.

Every year during the week running up to Easter, the streets of Cusco are filled with vibrant and energetic religious processions. Celebrations of Semana Santa begin on Palm Sunday or ‘Domingo de Ramos’. Today families go to church with palms and ask for blessings.

Following this on Monday, Cusco adds its own unique twist to Easter festivities and dedicates celebrations to ‘El Señor de los Temblores’ or ‘The Lord of the Earthquakes’, the patron saint of Cusco. Around 2pm there is a procession with a beautifully decorated statue of the Saint through the streets of the old city of Cusco. In the evening the procession reaches the Plaza de Armas, where thousands of people flood into the square to watch as the Saint is taken to the Cathedral and blessed.

Cusco , Coca , Semana Santa

This picture is taken during this procession. God knows, what role these young MPS were playing? Security, I suppose.

Scanned from slide, applied Neat Image.

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Additional Photos by Erdem Kutukoglu (Suppiluliuma) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 266 W: 105 N: 604] (3931)
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