Specials - History & Culture

Peru is best known as the heart of the Inca empire, but it was home to many diverse indigenous cultures long before the Incas arrived.

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- History & Musemus
- Art & Music
- Architecture
- Religion

About History & Culture

Although there is evidence of human habitation in Peru as long ago as the eighth millennium BC , there is little evidence of organized village life until about 2500 BC. It was at about this time that climatic changes in the coastal regions prompted Peru's early inhabitants to move toward the more fertile interior river valleys. For the next 1500 years, Peruvian civilization developed into a number of organized cultures, including the Chavìn and the Sechìn. The Chavìn are best known for their stylized religious iconography, which included striking figurative depictions of various animals (the jaguar in particular) and which exercised considerable influence over the entire coastal region. The Sechìn are remembered more for their military hegemony than for their cultural achievement.peru03.jpg (25202 bytes)

Culture

It's the multiple layers of great civilizations that make Peru so fascinating. Cobblestone streets preserve the era of the Conquistadors, the ruins of the lost city of Machu Pichu remind travelers of the once mighty Inca Empire, and the mysterious Nazca lines elude all explanation. On top of this the Peruvian Andes are arguably the most spectacular mountains on the continent and home to millions of highland Indians who still speak the ancient language of Quechua and maintain a traditional way of life. Then to the East and thousands of feet below, the lush Amazon Basin covers half of Peru and is one of the world's top 10 biodiversity hotspots - these are areas of super high species diversity that are under threat of being extinguished.

Religion, Language and Food

The predominant religion is Roman Catholic, but there is a scattering of other Christian faiths. Indigenous Peruvians, however, have blended Catholicism and their traditional beliefs. An example is the near synonymous association of Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) and the Virgin Mary. Spanish is the main language throughout Peru, although most highland Indians are bilingual, with Quechua being their preferred language and Spanish their second tongue. When bargaining in rural markets, a Quechua word or two will not only endear you to the vendors, but usually get you an extra orange or more juice! Several small lowland groups speak their own languages. English is understood in the best hotels and in airline offices and travel agencies, but it's of little use elsewhere. Peruvian food consists mainly of soups and stews, corn pancakes, rice, eggs and vegetables. Seafood is excellent, even in the highlands. Local specialties include ceviche, seafood prepared in lemon juice; lechón, suckling pig; and cuy, whole roasted guinea pig-however, some delicacies may only be for the most adventurous stomachs!

 

 

 

 

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INFOBA DMC Peru - Av. Los Libertadores 561 - San Isidro Lima - Peru
Phone.: 0051-1-221-3543 | E-Mail: peru@infobadmc.com