People of the Rainbow

The native people of Kuychi Runa, which in Quechua translates to “people of the rainbow,” live in what’s today known as Cconamuro, a rural zone located in the Ocongate District, one of the 12 districts in the Quispicanchi province in the Cusco department.

Location of Ocongate in Peru:

High in the Andes mountain range — where the sky shines intensely bright and the sun’s warmth contrasts the cold winds that descend from the snow-capped peaks and hanging glaciers of the Ausangate, a mountain that overpowers the landscape as it soars upward of 6,384 meters (20,945 feet) above sea level — is the home of a community that practices the ancient tradition of its forefathers.

Apu (mountain in Quechua) Ausangate holds spiritual significance, as if it were a protector that looks after all living things.

Apu Ausangate

Apu Ausangate stands at 6,384 meters (20,945 feet) above sea level

This special community belongs to geographical area that’s defined by its rich Inca culture and history. 

Approximately 200 families stretch out across the harsh terrain, living in small parcels of land at 4,800 meters (15,748 feet) above sea level and raising cattle, sheep, llamas and alpacas, animals that provide both meat and wool. With this wool, women weavers produce stunning colorful garments for their own use and to sell at handicraft markets. 

The newly built South InterOceanic Highway, an transcontinental freeway that connects Peru and Brazil, brings to the communities and towns a new perspective for  economic growth, but the new opportunities also puts these cultural traditions at risk. To protect, perpetuate and safeguard this Andean identity, the ancestral Imperial Inca language and these wonderful traditions is the Kuychi Runa Association’s most important role.

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