After a week on conferring with each other in the depths of Cuzco’s sacred house, its Cathedral, the patron saints of each of tis traditional neighborhoods made their way home today.
The Cathedral is one of the few remaining, large covered halls for gatherings, like those that the Incas had around the Haukaypata, the main square. In this space which has been sacred since long before the Spanish invaded Peru, the Saints came together in an area that organizes them according to the basic divisions of Pre-Columbian life, such as the upper and lower halves. At the same time, they connect and engage with the holiness that comes from the presence of Cuzco’s patron the Lord of Temblors, as well as the pre-Spanish stone of Viracocha and the springs of Unu Punku, a place of beginning and origin.
While in the Cathedral the saints are said to have conversed with one another at length, relating the affairs of their neighborhoods and playing out friendships, loves, and conflicts among themselves.
Today their followers came for them dressed in meaningful costumes and with music and dance to offer them, and strengthen them for the coming year when they will occupy their own places as Holy People within the traditional neighborhood churches. After leaving the Cathedral they processed through the city’s streets, each taking their own path, visiting with followers and other devotees as they went, until they reached their own neighborhood churches and returned to their own spaces within where they will stay for a year.
Here are some photos for you of today’s processions.