Story

A Story of Saints and Chicha

Cuzco's Saints Conversation i an Fiesta (Wayra)

This is the story of St. Anthony, St. Christopher, and the Virgin of St. Anne. It reflects some of the traditional, daily activities of the people of the city of Cusco.

In the city of Cusco, you find traditional neighborhoods such as Colcanpata–now San Cristóbal (St. Christopher) and Carmenca–the neighborhood of Santa Ana (St. Anne. In the neighborhood of Carmenca live many devotees of the Virgin of St. Anne and meanwhile in Colcanpata live devotees of St. Chriostopher and St. Anthony.

People say that in these two neighborhoods you find the best chicha. For this reason, people come from all over the city in their free time to have a glass of chicha.

Santa Ana had a chichería where St. Christopher would go every day, they say, to take his chicha. He walked about 15 to 20 minutes to get there. St. Anthony, who is a little older and lived together with San Cristóbal in the same church, just stayed in the company of his little pig that you see on his image and went to bed early to take his rest.

Once the church was closed no one could enter. When St. Christopher stayed out late no one could open the doors of the church for him so he made a deal with the piglet of St Anthony.

The deal was that since St. Christopher went to the neighborhood of Carmenca to drink chicha where you find the Santa Ana chichería, he would bring the piglet sutuchi, what is left over from the fermented corn after chicha is made. As his part of the deal, the piglet would open the church door for St. Christopher to enter.

The deal worked normally until one day San Cristóbal forgot to bring back the sutuchi and he shut the door in the saint’s face. St. Christopher stayed outside and had no choice but to sleep outside the church.

Outside the church of San Cristóbal there is a rectangular and flat Inca stone and the story concludes that he had fallen asleep in this stone.

Chicha is very important for the inhabitants of our city. Even stories of the saints the people seek to blend these religious images with their traditions.

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