Pilgrimage to the Lord of Qoyllur Rit'i

22 de May de 2023

The Lord of Qoyllur Rit'i, a syncretism of Andean and colonial religion, is a living example of the faith of hundreds of devotees who every year make a pilgrimage to this powerful snow-capped mountain to worship the image of the crucified Christ that has been engraved on the rock for years.

Religious festivity that unites different cultural and traditional manifestations. Year after year the faithful and devotees make a pilgrimage to the Ausangate snow-capped mountain, Apu protector and the most powerful of the city of Cusco;

History and origin of the Lord of Qoyllur Rit'i

The origin of this tradition is found in the stories and stories of the eighteenth century, which tells the story of a shepherd boy named Mariano Mayta who was sent to care for and graze the cattle;

During his shepherding activities Mariano met another boy of his age named Manuel, who had a white complexion and very fine clothes, Manuel shared a snack with Marianito as well as day by day, he helped him to continue with his chores.

Mariano's father noticed that his cattle had multiplied greatly, thanks to his son's new friend, so he offered to buy cloth for the boy Manuel, receiving a sample of cloth from Manuel's clothes.

Mariano was then sent to the city of Cusco to look for this fabric, receiving from everyone the same answer always, that it was a very fine fabric, which must be very expensive and that only the bishops wore. So Mariano returned to Ocongate where he asked to see the parish priest of the place is so the priest after hearing the story, decided to accompany Mariano to see his friend Manuel to suspect probable illicit acts and ask how he had obtained such fabric;

When the parish priest arrived to meet him, he saw how the boy Manuel, who was taking care of a flock, radiated a white light. A few days later the parish priest returned to look for the child Manuel accompanied by villagers and authorities in the area, but when they tried to approach, the child Manuel fled to the rocks and rocks, being pursued by his friend Mariano, when they finally reached the rock saw Christ Crucified whose wounds still flowed blood. 

The stories tell that the child Mariano could not bear to see such a panorama, so he suffered a cardiac arrest and was buried under that same rock, which is considered sacred, with a wooden cross from the Tayanca tree.

Main day of the Lord of Qoyllur Rit'i

The celebration of the Lord Qoyllur Rit'i has a movable date after 58 days after Easter Sunday, between the last week of May and June approximately, being different nations that come to visit the sanctuary with different groups of dancers and musicians.

The central day of the central celebration lasts 4 days, keep in mind that this festivity takes place in a snowy, the location of the Sanctuary of Qoyllur Riti is to more than 5,000 meters above sea level so it is necessary to have a good physical resistance and do not forget to take adequate clothing for the cold.

Dances and dances at the Lord of Qoyllur Rit'i

While it is true that everyone is welcome and invited to visit the Sanctuary of Qoyllur Riti, the main attendees are the 8 Nations: 

Paruro, Paucartambo, Quispicanchis, Acomayo, Chinchero, Urubamba, Canchis and Anta;

In addition, the Qeros are the purest Native community in existence today, who still conserve their ancestral traditions and customs,

These groups annually make the pilgrimage from their respective villages of origin to the snow-capped Ausangate to worship the apu and the lord of Qoylluriti.

También es importante resaltar que en estas naciones llegan agrupaciones de danzantes, resaltan los siguientes:

  • Qhapaq Chunchu: Those who wear Suri feather crowns, long skirts or phalikas, wear white shirts, colored socks and boots, the King or Qhapaq of the group wears a shiny metal crown and a wide cape, all carry spears made of chonta wood.
  • Wayri Chunchu: This dance is distinguished by the colorful headdresses of macaw feathers with a long tail of smaller feathers of parrots and other Amazonian birds, wearing white shirts and vests, black pants and shoes. In addition to carrying a bow made of Chonta wood.
  • Qhapaq Qollas: This dance features a more elaborate costume, with monteras finely decorated by the dancers themselves, a white woven mask called a waqollo, a white shirt, pants and dark shoes. They wear a small vicuña or alpaca hanging from one side and a ribbon called a waraka, which they whip with during the dance.
  • Chunchachas: Danza conformada solo por mujeres quienes usan camisa y polleras en color crema, llevando flechas de chonta, máscaras de rejilla, pañuelos coloridos, corona de plumas de guacamayo con larga cola de plumas más pequeñas que cubren la espalda.

The nations usually differentiate their groups of dancers by adding the name of the place of origin such as ''Qhapaq Qollas de Paruro'' or ''Qhapaq Chunchu de Paruro''.

In addition to the dances, there is the presence of a very characteristic character of the festivity of the Lord of Qoyllur Riti.

  • The Ukukus: These characters are dressed with a woven wool mask in white or black colors, with a long wool tunic with bangs, a white or red cross on the chest and the skin of an alpaca or lamb on the back by way of coat layer, also carry whips or ''warakas'', considered zoomorphic spirits; since the same name Ukukus refers to the bears fulfilling the role of mediators between the spirits of the snowy and the inhabitants of the nations, is so great the respect that is held for these characters, that many times the police presence is not required during the pilgrimage, because the Ukukus are responsible for maintaining order and punish sinners with their whips.

These beings have a superior connotation, since they are the only ones capable of ascending to the top of the snowy mountain and extracting large blocks of sacred ice with which they will later irrigate their lands symbolically in favor of having prosperous harvests and greater agricultural production.

Déjanos tu respuesta o si tienes alguna pregunta, consultenos.
form contacto
Nuestras Certificaciones y Reconocimientos
  • women owned
    mincetur logo
    sernanp logo - ,
Nuestro Respaldo
  • logo ccc - ,
  • promperu logo - ,