Remembering the deceased in Cusco

Thursday October 30, 2014
Remembering the deceased in Cusco

On the 2nd of November the people of Cusco honor their deceased loved ones. This ‘Dia the los muertos’ is a national holiday. It is believed that the souls of ancestors and loved ones come to visit earth. To show their respects, family members often bring the favorite meals of the deceased to their graves.

Death in the Andean Culture is seen as a continuation of life. By making offerings, people hope to connect to the deceased. In some areas, Peruvians go to the cemeteries in the middle of the night and belief that the dead will arise at 12 o’clock.

A very typical offering for Cusqueños is the W’awa bread. Bread in the shape of a small child. Originally W’awa was made to represent children who had died. The bread was meant to honor and remember them. Nowadays the doll sized bread is for all deceased people. They are exchanged among families and friends and used as offerings at the cemeteries. Being in Cusco around the Dia de los Muertos it is hard to get around the W`awa bread. Especially on the San Pedro Mercado you will find many of these child shaped breads.

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