Kaypi Perú Festival Celebrates Peruvian Culture

Six-Day Celebration Features Traditional Music, Dance, Cuisine and Alpacas
July 20, 2012
News Release

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, Wednesday, July 25, through Monday, July 30. Kaypi Perú ,which means “This is Peru” in the indigenous language of Quechua, includes an art market, music and dance performances, hands-on activities for kids, short films, photo exhibitions of Machu Picchu and the Inka Road, traditional plants, as well as Peruvian Paso horses and alpacas.

Art Market

An art market will be open daily in the Potomac Atrium from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and will feature 16 artisans from various regions of Peru who will be selling an array of items, including handmade silver jewelry, ceramics, textiles, masks, colorful scarves and shawls, figurines, embroidered fabrics, wood carvings and more.

Visitors can learn from the indigenous Aymara women of the Puno region of Collao Plateau near Lake Titicaca as they discuss the launch of their community-based tourism project, which has improved the Aymara’s standard of living while sharing and preserving their traditional ways of life. The women from the Kukama Kukamiria community will present their conservation project for the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, specifically forestry and aquiculture initiatives.

Traditional Food and Drink

The Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe will feature a collaborative menu of Peruvian delicacies prepared by famed Peruvian chef, Flavio Soloranzo of Señorío de Sulco Restaurant in Lima and the museum’s executive chef, Richard Hetzler.

Visitors can join experts from Pisco Portón for the Pisco Experience in the Mitsitam Espresso Bar area at 3:15, 4 and 4:45 p.m. daily for a 30-minute tutorial on the 500-year history and traditions of Pisco, the national spirit of Peru. Learn how to make a Pisco sour and sample the delicious drink. Seating is limited, first-come, first-served.

Lectures and Discussions

Visitors can view a new video project, “Caravan of Memory: Message from Chawaytiri,” in which the elders of the Quechua community of Chawaytiri in the Andean highlands collaborate with the museum to document their llama culture and way of life for future generations. Jose Barreiro, the museum’s director of the Office of Latin America will introduce and discuss the film in the Rooms 4018/4019 daily at 1:30 p.m.

Hands-On Activities

At 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. a daily workshop at the entrance of the imagiNATIONS Activity Center will explore the lifestyles of Andean children and what they might do on a daily basis such as tending animals, harvesting or weaving. Following the story, kids will be able to assemble and paint paper cutouts of local ecotourism homes.

At 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Laura Russell will discuss who people think their protectors are and then watch a short video on who Andean children believe their protectors are. Children will then compare and contrast the different protectors and draw and paint them to take home.

Visitors will learn about paiche fish, one of the largest freshwater fish in the world, and the Amazonian pink dolphin daily at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. They can gather near the Amazonian house on stilts for a tale about these incredible fish and then create a dolphin with pink colored porcelain clay.

Free tickets are required for all the activities and are available at the imagiNATIONS Activity Center. All activities are recommended for ages 4 and up.

Music and Dance Performances

Throughout the festival, there will be various performances of traditional dances from different Peruvian regions and cultural origins by local Peruvian dance groups, including Mamauca, Raices y Expresiones, Raymi, Victor Ruiz, Yuyarinaypac and Club Libertad. After the performances, there will be a dance workshop for the entire family.

Film Screenings

Enjoy free daily screenings at 12:30 p.m. in the Rasmuson Theater of four short films created by the DocuPeru Documentary Caravan, a media literacy project that has trained more than 550 new filmmakers in 26 countries. Qarwaqiru (2011, 8 min.), Hualgayoc-Collar de Plata (2011, 9 min.), Molinopampa (2011, 10 min.) and Yacumama (2011, 8 min.) all focus on the theme of water.

Paso Horses and Alpacas

A Peruvian paso horse, which is a breed of light pleasure saddle horse known for its smooth ride, will be shown on the outdoor Welcome Plaza from 2 to 5:30 p.m. daily. This horse is distinguished by a natural, four-beat, lateral gait called the paso llano. Learn more about the horse through a display of fine leather and silver saddles unique to this breed, along with a display of photograph. Horse experts from Peru, Esteban Huaman and Alberto Barrena, will talk about the history of the paso horse and the pieces that the horses wear in competition.

A pair of the world-renowned Peruvian Andean alpacas, famous for their fine wool, will also be on view. Fabiola and Eric Moran of Rancho el Chalan provided both the horses and alpacas for the festival. Photo opportunities will be available with both animals.

Photo Exhibitions

Throughout the Potomac Atrium there will be a presentation of the acclaimed National Geographic photo exhibition “Machu Picchu: A Lost City Uncovered,” which presents 40 of the finest photos by explorer Hiram Bingham, who discovered the Inka Citadel of Machu Picchu.

The display includes photos of the Great Inka Road—known in South America as the Qapac Nãn—which linked all the remote territories that were part of the Inka Empire, the largest pre-Columbian nation in the Americas.

Peruvian Plants and Gardens

On the south side of the building and at the main entrance, a Peruvian garden is growing. Visitors can see traditional Peruvian and Andean plants cultivated for food and traditional uses, including several varieties of potatoes, peppers, corn, coffee, guava, agave, quinoa and beans.

For more details about the festival and a full schedule of all programs, visit www.AmericanIndian.si.edu. Tweet your comments and photos using the hashtag #KaypiPeru.

Photos: here.


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