One of the great heroes of Cuzco today is a man named Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui. More commonly called Tupac Amaru, he led a rebellion against the Spanish in the late eighteenth century that had long lasting effects throughout Peru.
Though his uprising was not successful, it has had lasting effects, including those of his story that with retelling becomes larger than life, as befits a hero. Drawn and quartered in Cuzco’s main square–its Plaza de Armas—where there is a monument to him, he lives on in story as a precursor today to giving value and weight to Peru’s indigenous population and to the value of the highlands against the coast.
This last weekend, Friday November 8th and Saturday November 9th he was remembered in a staging called “Tupac Amaru Vive: De la muerte y revolución de Tupac Amaru” (Tupac Amaru Lives: On the Death and Revolution of Tupac Amaru. It commemorated the anniversary of his uprising that began November 4, 1780
The performance involved more than 200 artists and included the special participation of celebrated performers in Cuzco such as Nivardo Carrillo, Lucho Castro, Tania Castro, Humberto Chaparro, and Raísa Saavedra among others. Many children and adults were able to see this act and appreciate the ongoing value of Tupac Amaru for our days.
On the day of the performance, the sun was radiant as the performance began. It was as if Tupac Amaru and his peers had returned to Cuzco to tell us and show us their lives and actions.
The performance ended with applauses and whispers. In reverence people told each other what they had thought of the events and how they moved them. People lived a great warmth and feeling. Causachun Tupac Amaru. Long live Tupac Amaru.