CULTURE AND TRADITIONS OF PERU
The culture in Peru is a fusion of the different life styles and traditions, dress, practices and norms that exist in the Peruvian society.
FOLK FESTIVALS: The majority of the folk festivals in Peru are based on the devotion to a fixed patron saint; there is also an element of pagan but equally celebrated links to mythical ancestors. In Peru, around 3,000 folk festivals occur each year, and are regularly scheduled.
ART AND HANDICRAFTS: The diversity, creativity and multiple functionality has made art an essential activity which represents the Peruvian identity.
It also provides incomes for families and whole towns. Peruvian handicrafts are recognized as the most varied in the world. The high quality of handicrafts manifests itself in the harmony of geometric designs in textiles, the image of daily rural life found in the burnt gourds and retablos of Ayacucho, and high quality works of carved stone from Huamanga. The beauty of the handicrafts can also be found in pieces of gold, silver and ceramics made of clay.
TYPICAL DRESS: The dress of Peru is dependant on region.
One of the typical styles of dress used along the coast of Peru by the farmers is the poncho, made of cotton or vicuņa wool. In the area known as the Sierra of Lima, the skirt has a stripe of red and black. In Junin, as in Cajamarca and Cusco, the skirts are not black, but they wear various underskirts made of cotton which are embroidered and stick out from under the main skirt. In the jungle, men and women of certain ethnic groups wear a cushma, a large tunic sewn on the side and adorn themselves with dyed geometric figures representing their home. In the coldest regions where they wear hats, they use the chullo, a knit hat of different colors or geometric designs which protects the ears.
MUSIC AND DANCE: There is evidence that there has been music in Peru for some 10,000 years. From these origins we have the quena (a traditional flute), zampoņas (panpipes), pututos (wind instrument made of a large shell), as well as diverse percussion instruments. Contact with the Western world brought a large quantity of instruments which have been adapted to the rhythmic requirements in each region of the country. Peruvian symbols of identity are the Huayno and Marinera, which are part of the more than 1,300 musical genres which originated as a result of this contact.
MUSEUMS: The International Council of Museums (ICOM) has declared May 18th the International Day of the Museum. Its objective is to give knowledge of museum activities, nature, functions and the role that museums fulfil in the development of society. Peru has important museums which belong to both private and personal entities which protect, investigate and show off our cultural patrimony. There are natural museums as well as arts and sciences, archaeological and historical, and more.