The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Embassy of Peru present Kaypi Perú, a festival highlighting the South American nation’s rich and diverse cultural heritage and traditional arts, Friday, July 26, through Sunday, July 28. Kaypi Perú, which means “This is Peru” in the indigenous Quechua language, includes various cultural demonstrations such as crafts and arts by Peruvian artisans, music and dance performances, hands-on activities for kids, a film screening, traditional plants and Peruvian cuisine. The festival is free and open to the public.
Throughout the festival, local Peruvian dancers will perform traditional dances representing different Peruvian regions and cultural origins, including dances from the coast (marinera, tondero and vals crillo) and highlands (huaylash, valicha and negrillos), as well as traditional Afro-Peruvian dances (lando, festejo and lavanderas).
Daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Potomac Atrium, artisans from various regions of Peru will demonstrate their crafts and arts, a unique opportunity for visitors to purchase traditional and contemporary handmade silver jewelry, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, colorful scarves and shawls, figurines, embroidered fabrics, items made from alpaca wool, wood sculptures and more.
The Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe will have available for purchase a collaborative menu of Peruvian delicacies prepared by the Embassy of Peru’s chef Elmer Gutiérrez and the museum’s executive chef Freddie Bitsoie (Diné). There will be demonstration of Pisco, the national spirit of Peru.
On the south side of the museum and at the main entrance, a Peruvian garden is already growing. Visitors can see Peruvian and Andean plants cultivated for food and traditional uses, including several varieties of potatoes, peppers, corn, coffee, guava, agave, quinoa, Peruvian zinnias, beans, epazote, amaranth, cotton, squash, tobacco, cassava, marigolds and stipa (Peruvian feather grass).
As part of the celebration of this festival, on Thursdays throughout July, the museum’s Cultural Interpreters are offering two special interactive visitor experiences that complement the exhibition “The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire.” The first major bilingual exhibition on the South American civilization, “The Great Inka Road” explores why the construction of the Inka Road more than 500 years ago stands as one of the world’s greatest engineering feats.
Scaling Up: Vertical Agriculture in the Andes
July 11, 18 and 25, 10:30 a.m.–noon
Location varies. Visitors should check with the Welcome Desk – Level 1
Visitors can solve a puzzle to find out how the people of the Inka Empire used microclimates to grow crops in some of the most diverse terrain in the world. This 5-to-10-minute program repeats on demand.
July 11, 18 and 25, 1:30 p.m.
Visitors meet in the Potomac Atrium – Level 1
This 45‑minute tour by Cultural Interpreters provides an overview of the museum’s background and history and a visit “The Great Inka Road” exhibition.
For more details about the festival and a full schedule of all programs, visit AmericanIndian.si.edu. The public can join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #KaypiPeru and #InkaRoad.
About the Museum
In partnership with Native peoples and their allies, the National Museum of the American Indian fosters a richer shared human experience through a more informed understanding of Native peoples. The museum is located on the National Mall at Fourth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. and open every day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Connect with the museum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at AmericanIndian.si.edu.
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