Today’s visits included trips to historic sites and to two well known Peruvian ceramicists – both folk artists.
Our first stop was to the Historical Sanctum of the Pampa of Ayacucho.
This memorial was constructed in the late 1970s to commemorate the battle Dec.9, 1824 which won Peru independence from the Spaniards – the last country in South America to do so.
On our way to the locale we made an impromptu stop in a wild grove of prickly pears – to taste the fruit and to capture some cochineal insects! This is where the dye cochineal – a deep red colour – originates.
When you squish the bugs you get a substantial squirt of red liquid from each.
Our first pottery stop was to Sr. Limaco – who explained how he creates his pottery sculptures while making a small pottery piece of a musician.
His work has a contemporary political flavour – this nativity has the child Jesus in chains, the wise men with guns and grenades representing the difficult period in the region’s recent history with the terror brought about by the Shining Path.
Our second visit was to the workshop of Mamerto Sanches – his work is also folk art in character with much of his sculpture having a religious connection – this piece below a rendition of the last supper.
Our last stop was the Cheqo-Wari archeological site – pre Incan, this site was the locale of the Wari capital city.
This portion of the site was the location of the tombs in which the aristocracy were buried, sometimes at more than one level. The tombs included large, flat rocks obviously quarried from volcanic basalt at some distance from the site and brought there – the mystery is how these large cut rocks were moved since there is no evidence these pre-Incan people understood the wheel (or round logs) for moving large, heavy objects.
Tomorrow we visit embroiderers.