UKUKUS, the children of the sacred mountain
Project info

The Ukukus are mythological beings, the only beings who can rise to the top of Apu (god), named for the ancient inhabitants of the Cusco region Qolquepunku. Ukuku is the son of a woman and Ukumari (spectacled bear), ancient animal that inhabited the mountains of Peru. The ancient Peruvians elected him as the guardian of the snow, for your strength and endurance. On the backs of ice Qolquepunku Ukukus towards the lower areas of the Cusco region he was transported to irrigate the land with holy water. However, with the conquest of the Spanish in the sixteenth century, the cult was described as pagan and villagers were forced to worship the Christian God. This festival is called today: the pilgrimage to the Lord of Qoyllorritti. And blends the ancestral worship of the ancient inhabitants snowed with the cult to the cross and the image of Christ.

This religious syncretism is celebrated every year in the Cusco region, at 5,000 meters above sea level. The purpose is to thank in the bowels of snow by the water provided to all countries in the region.

The journey begins in the district of Paucartambo and ends in Ocongate district, and is one of the toughest tests of resistance that any human being can face. For three days the Ukukus pilgrimage from the District of Paucartambo, first sitting on a truck and clubs to reach Ocongate begin to ascend to the Shrine. Amount to midnight, lit only by the moonlight and conduct a vigil until dawn. Then they go down and introduce the cross in a small chapel seated in the sanctuary.

Meanwhile, in the foothills of the icy snow around 100,000 pilgrims, celebrate and pray in a plain waiting for the decline in Ukukus. Previously, Ukukus down blocks of ice to bring to the city of Cusco, but as a result of deglaciation this has been vetoed. This pilgrimage known as the Lord of Qoylloritti was declared in 2011 by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage. It is a cult dating from the pre-Inca times.