THE VIRGIN OF THE CARMEN (PAUCARTAMBO)

April 29, 2016
virgen del carmen en paucartambo

Paucartambo Capital of the province of the same name is located on the banks of Mapacho or Paucartambo River at 2,900 masl from pre-Hispanic times, this place has been commercial transit between Cusco and the Qosñipata jungle valley but this place also transited distant men from remaining in the memory of the people who are represented in the dances that are danced in July in honour of the Virgin of the Carmen.

Carlos III bridge was built in the eighteenth century by order of the Spanish crown to replace the old wicker bridge for the growing coca trade, the bridge is an important symbol in the imagination of the Paucartambo people and is the link to the outside world and the world of interior, the people also came “the Virgin of Carmen”, “The Virgin of Mestizos” to assert his party and dancing on the “Our Lady of the Rosary”, employer of the town and peasants.

Two versions of the arrival of “Mamacha del Carmen”, the people are the best known.

Warriors feared the “Chunchos”, forest dwellers wounded the body of the virgin during a confrontation with the landowners of the region, the body was found in the “Amaru Mayu” River and since then is called Madre de Dios and led to Paucartambo, today’s dancers “Qhapac Chuncho” or rich “Chuncho” are required to accompany the virgin, they are the preferred guardians and dancers in party.

The second version says that the “Qolla”, traders in the highland region of Collao brought in one of their trips to Paucartambo a head plaster, which was found in a clay pot, Paucartambio people identified the head of the Virgin and made the body wood since they stayed in the village and the dancers of “Qolla Qhapac” or rich “Qolla” accompanied by Emilla once a year come to visit and offer their song. Both apparently contradictory accounts reflects an ancient ethical conflict between “Chuncho and Anti Qolla” between the “Anti-Suyo” and “Collasuyo” conflict that will be displayed in the “guerrillas” at the end of the party.

Except in the days of the festival, Paucartambo looks like an abandoned village, with lack of job opportunities and a low level of social mobility have limited its development potential and accelerate the migration process and perpetuating a social structure based on criteria of ethnic differentiation between “mestizos”, people considered as townspeople and indigenous farmers in rural areas differentiation as that mentioned above is manifested in the cult of two different deities ” the Carmen Mamacha” and virgin rosary respectively with the agrarian reform of 1969, the old families settled in the region ended up migrating to the cities but still control part of the political and administrative life of the people and the province despite migration cult of the Carmen Virgin” continues summoning Paucartambo people every year to launch the party to reassert their identity in the faith of “Mamacha Carmen”, today differs dances and danced by the Paucartambo residents of those living outside Paucartambo people danced this distinction referring to the real conflicts that among others expressed in the party.

Preparations are announcing the party ever more intensely the facades of houses and the church are retouched, traders who come to the party begin to love their jobs costumes which are prepared and tinkering masks are completed, flowers to be carried to the temple to decorate the altar of the virgin are placed in bottles with water and Adelina cattle has reserved it also sacrifices, then the food will be served in the coming days is prepared, the image of the virgin also requires preparedness, she is adorned and dressed in their gowns and placed on the altar of the church.

The scale of the preparations and the amount of money spent on the party compared to what the “Our Lady of the Rosary” poorly held by peasants who go down to the town in October expresses the predominance of a cult is offered on the other but it is in the afternoon of July 15 to start is given to the celebration, that is the time that time and the festive space opens, the dancers discreetly leave the people to meet other dancers from the troupe and begin their transformation evoking different characters in their story coming from distant worlds to pay tribute to “Carmen Mamacha”, dances not only allow remember history, dance is the most valuable gift, it can provide to the Mamacha Carmen” to renew ties with her and ensure protection for next year, so the dances evoke the past, present and future simultaneously assume the identity of foreign characters and make dances for “Mamacha Carmen” is a way to manipulate and symbolically submit to the will of the Virgin and so the “mestizo identity” that it represents each dancers will not only dance the characters but it will give up their individual identity to adopt an implied collective identity, in fact wearing the same costume to wear a mask to perform a choreography and get to the discipline of the group.

Taking part at the party involves a number of costs for the purchase of food, beer consumption, hiring group of musicians, costumes and payment of a mass, part or all of these expenses is covered by Carguyoc or founder and agrees with the parade by the order of a year, Carguyoc accompanied by the musicians also leaves the village to meet his troupe to begin his ritual obligations inviting the beers to the dancers, then begin the ceremony called the entrance of the dancers, after that assuming the identity of characters and the collective identity of the group will reach the temple to greet “Mamacha Carmen” each troupe will appear accompanied by his own band together with Carguyoc leads demand a small image of the virgin that retained at home during the year compliance office. The dancers of “Saqra” mean the heck which should stay away from the virgin and cannot enter the temple, in the dance of black Capac slaves’ time of the colony of vote of the “Carmen Virgin”, arriving is remembered to offer their songs.

The characters “Majeno dance”, representing merchants who arrived the “Majes Valley” (Arequipa) to sell liquor in dance mixed Collacha, unique mixed dance  it means to young farmers in the field, the “Chucchu dance” reminds pawns of the property of the jungle, valleys returning with malaria, the characters dance Cachamba are young Inca warriors in the use of the sling, “Huca dance”, Huca is a dramatization of the Spanish bullfighting, in the dance of “Chilean Pauca or Chilean enemy, represents war against Chile, the dancers of the contra dance whose choreography makes notion of the agriculture, makes a parody valley living executed colonial elite, the characters dance Siclla, they claim to represent the corrupt authorities of legality formal, the Mactas or young farmers to group together “Sicllas Aran” later trial, the Mactas appear independently and possibly joining a new stooge to make way for the dancers and bring order to the public. When all the groups include two the “Coya Capac” and “Chuncho Capac” made their entrance and begin wax apayku or removal of waxes, Chunchu Capac escorting the prioste who led in Corsican Apayku Seriac, the prioste is the highest authority in the party and responsible for expenses, the script and symbol, he will take in his ceremonial acts and hand it over to the new prioste at the end of a small party claiming that his family retained for one year led by the wife.

In the apaycu being, the prior, their family, the village authorities and other Paucartambo people move the Syrians flowers and angels to church to decorate on the “Altar of the Virgin”, in this way in the entrance ceremony, the last village is evoked concluding with “Apayku” be that the current figures are displayed, the night the jonoy or burning fires are lit, those whose Capac, the “Macta and Saqras” gather in the square to light bonfires and fireworks, the jonoy culminates with the burning castle, at midnight the dancer transformation challenges what have undergone hours prior to civil dance, and offer their homage to the virgin as the cruisers who are and are not like the characters in this ceremony, this is called the dawn, which takes place against the closed door of the temple, when the second holiday begins the dancers return to fully assume the identity of his characters to perform his choreographies front of the temple now opened while the mass feast is celebrated each troupe of dancers although to varying degrees is a closed entity, the highest authority is the farm manager distinguished by some element of their wardrobe and their location and function during the performance of the choreography, the corporal followed in the hierarchy between ultimate authority and group made up of soldiers throughout the “Comparsas”, the election of authorities entry of new member regulations and changes in costumes or choreography are decided by the assembly once the decision the soldiers have to respect a discipline organization are considered for proper operation of the troupe and raise its competitiveness, competition enters the various troupes is part of the logic of their functioning and relationships between them all the groups participating in this competition from which hierarchies are established and side status is given by the prestige social by its own members and the other for its proximity and mythical virgin that there are people interested taking office a stooge depends on the prestige and capacity convening of this has reached the impossibility of some troupes to engage a carguyos or cover their expenses independently determine eventual nature of some groups, musicians accompanying troupes are hired outside the village and are in a situation of marginalization within the party them unlike the dancers involved in it for a contract in money and not only by devotion to the virgin the whole whistle and drum is the most traditional but some troupes have replaced the band’s desire to improve the dance, the band has an important prestige, hiring the band involves more spending than blindness investment capacity of Carguyoc and dancers to prioste him company always the band, the third instrumental group is the group or orchestra consisting of harp, violin, accordion, flutes, bass, mandolin and built in recent years battery They don’t always appear together all these instruments and which are combined in different variants.

After Mass, the “Qoya Capac” always involved in events within the party distributed gifts prior to the people fruits of the region, tied coca and crafts miniature, at this time of year when they completed harvests, this ceremony called forest and imposes a distributive act of wealth and communion among the most prioste the people, this intention prevails in 11 ceremony and lunch then offers the prior at home, presently, the municipality of Paucartambo makes available the prior one local which has some comforts for you to receive your guests family during the days of the festival, here prior welcoming dancers and distributes the ONCE small portions of varied breads in different ways.

In the afternoon, the procession of the Virgin will take place which will be in presence of prior objectives and other village authorities and other troupes performed the “Colla Capac and black Capac” are the only troupes that have “contos” for the Virgin, they have the privilege of be closer to them in different ceremonies of the parties, the sacred, seductive naughty devils are disturbed near the virgin that must be kept distant from it though the dancers rely only act as “Saqras” as masks hidden tears caused by passing virgin and not being able to bring attention between character ambiguity receiving individual and collective between past and present identities, enter the outside world and between the inner world is manifested throughout the party these tensions will increasingly become more critical until the time of the “guerrillas”, the sacrifice involved for “Saqra” unable to get close to the virgin which had rewarded the protection, it offers them when they perform juggling on rooftops and balconies, as tradition when Carlos III, many workers contracted bridge fell into the river and died then it was called the “Saqras” finally able to finish construction.

On the 17th, central day of the festival starts with the masses convened by each of the groups and Carguyoc places demand on the altar to make this blessed and again impregnate the power of the Virgin, then Carguyoc assumed by the commitment for next year which will be this demand home at the end of the Mass, the priest blesses the devotees covered with mantles of the virgin, after mass, the groups head towards the cemetery or jail in these places care between worlds of life and death and the order and chaos will become more apparent, in the cemetery dancers visit the graves of their relatives or dead comrades, the dancers not only debocan characters in the story and the outside world if not in this III holiday dare to create a link with the world of the dead to handle the danger of this approach it involves the dancers are worth the ambiguity that gives them the fact of playing solemnity and humor, out cemetery “Coyas Capac” made the new baptism of the members of comparsa other groups habit of doing in the cemetery or at home with their caguyoc with some variations, the visit to the prison was instituted when it was moved from premises located opposite the church is in the town limits, now that prisoners can no longer making parties from prison, the prisons will visit them and each of them there dance choreography.

While the various troupes present their neat choreography and the prevailing structure of two parallel circles ranks, coyas Capac break schemes with their fires and yawar May, a clash of couples mediated imilla putting order among the dancers to as different groups have been presented at the end of the party and the atmosphere is getting tense, entry and descents characters of the dances have altered the life and death of people have opened their borders to dangerous spaces cemetery and jail finally have to find people willing they will receive under coming years, sicllas and Mactas begin to represent the judgment this travesty official justice is located temporarily from “guerrilla” to be undertaken between the redskins and “Coya” in the afternoon of that day.

In the afternoon, the Virgin was taken to the Carlos III bridge to bless the four cardinal points, the party reached its critical moment the bridge is on the border between the people and the outside world so the presence of the Virgin in this place constitutes a danger she is foreign both their stay in the village as their protection you have to be renewed periodically to announce so that must start the “guerrillas”, the “guerrillas” starts with the bullfight the bull waca comparsa, “Waca” has escaped already put in danger to all the people unleashed total chaos, the “Capac Coyas” sense that will clash with the “Capac redskins” and consult with their coca leaves, they have come from the highlands of the region of his “Colla” to trade with the redskin inhabitants from the Valley of the Andes and of Anti his region to which Paucartambo belongs although, “Chuncho” is identified as a wild inhabitant of the jungle, the “Mestizo Paucartambo people” represent a stylized and civilized version they can be made, the “Chuncho Capac” is not only a high and mighty warrior if not also the guardian of the Virgin and her favourite dancer, this tradition has it on that the absence at the party pales in the face of the virgin auguring a bad year on the other side in the Garrilla the “Colla” is defined as representative world and was put on fire, a good relationship with the virgin and the people, the “Coyas Capac Garrilla” prepare for saturating the atmosphere with smoke.

While they appeal their knowledge of their witchcraft, the redskins faced with force their spears, the danger and disorder, since the beginning of the garrilla is compounded by the arrival of the “Chucchu” or malaria, the death of the bull is the first major time of “garrilla” and foreboding outcome of the next “acudimientos”, fighting breaks out when the king of the redskins and kidnap the imilla woman of coya, trying not to lose the imilla the cayas are killed by the redskins two crossed reeds in the wacoyos of the “Coya” is a sign of his death, then “Saqra” involved with Nina cart to carry the dead to hell coya the imilla wear a mask faceless the colca with a situation of ambiguity their clothing is a coya woman but his mask does not confirm acesuceptible to assume another identity of chuncho, the character of the imilla’s in the same situation in which was the virgin del Carmen and the procession to the bridge is located on the border between the people and the world outside and whose Paucartambo stay must be affirmed king, identification of the virgin with imilla is expressed repeatedly the coya on the other hand, seducing a young woman of marriageable as is “the imilla” also means the ability to ensure reproduction and continuity of a group this power is shared by the imilla with “Mamacha Carmen” whose protection and blessing ensures a prosperous year for the people in the guerrilla is the game the permanence of the Virgin in Paucartambo and confirmation of the superiority of Paucartambo people on the outside world is said the consolidation of the mestizo identity of the “Mamacha Carmen” which represents all these circumstances, compelling the redskins to the winners every year.