c. 1200 – 1400
This preserved mummy, a member of the Chimu culture that flourished from around 1100 until it was absorbed into the Inca civilisation in the late 1400s, is from the north coast of Peru.
On burial, the body would have been seated in an upright position, with the head on its knees. The body was interred with personal possessions, ritual objects and food offerings, revealing a strong belief in a continuing existence after death.
Posted in art
Tagged inca, mummified, peru
Waiting out in the middle of the Nazca desert in Peru, etched into the sand and rock in place where it has never rained are something awe-inspiring and unexplained.
Images of spacemen, monkeys, spiders, cactus’ and birds rise out of the desert – but only viewable from the small Cessna planes that transport tourists around this area (and occasionally crash!).
Conjecture is rife amongst historians about who is responsible for these amazing sights – what is perhaps most surprising is that no one really knows who or what made these images. Obviously the Inca Nazca people could have made them – but without planes or means to fly how would they know what they were carving in the desert sand and rock?
Whatever is responsible for the Nazca lines it is the arid climate of the area – with minimal wind erosion and total lack of rain fall that means they have been preserved perfectly for thousands of years.
The scale of the different objects is hard to imagine from photos – the largest of the lines of over 200 metres in size.
So next time your flying over the deserts of Peru pay attention to what might be underneath you!
A well used version of Sapo
Sapo is perhaps the best outdoor game never played outside of South America and that is a great shame!
Invented in Peru (although claimed by other countries) it is simple to play and tremendous fun – the basics of the game is to fling heavy brass coins at the ‘Sapo’ or big brass frog on the top of the board, the coin travels either through the mouth of the frog or through various surrounding holes which travel down to slots underneath with corresponding scores.
With me so far? It’s a bit like darts without having to do subtraction calculations, but like darts and bowling you can drink heavily and still compete at championship level.
There is an apparent history to the game too - it apparently evolved from members of the royal Inca family and their court throwing gold pieces into the lake. Frogs were known for their magical powers, and the players hoped to attract one’s attention. These Incas believed that if a frog came to the surface and took a gold piece in its mouth, the player would be instantly awarded a wish and the frog would turn into solid gold. Now I don’t really believe all that but either way its a good legend to have.
If you want to give it a go, lend your support in the COMMENTS section below and your wishes may come true…
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged bowling, darts, El Sapu, frog, game, games, inca, Juego de Sapo, outdoors, peru, rana, the frog
There are many experiences to be found in Peru for even the most seasoned and cynical amongst us, food poisoning being undoubtedly my most visceral and recurrent.
While Machu Pichu steals all the column inches in every tourists guide-book there is to be found lurking in certain markets and Inca temples a treat of the animal kingdom rarely praised or recognised for its brilliance….the Peruvian hairless dog!
Your intrepid reporters initial encounter with this fascinating gem of the canine world happened by chance on a tour of Lima’s downtown animal market. There was I, ignoring scents and sights of dubious origins, gazing into cages, tanks and all manner of containers, when there before me, paws to the glass, was a vision of evolution at its finest.
Devoid of hair other than a gingerish protuberance on the skull and another dash on the tail, the Peruvian hairless dog, cuts a striking figure. Older animals have their skin tanned in the thrashing sun to a wonderful dark hue.
The temperament of the older animals can appear to be a tad aggressive – expect enthusiastic barking, howling and occasional showing of teeth when you approach but fear not this is merely a preamble to an imminent warm reception. Once tamed this breed shows itself to be a companion of exceptional intelligence – perhaps key to its longevity – depictions of the hairless dog date back to 750 AD.
As always the addition of a harness, some intensive training and a cigar of your choice is strongly recommended if one was to consider ownership of such a fine animal.