Peru Pachamama: The Handicrafts of the Highlands

The Ministry of Foreign Commerce and Tourism of Peru (MINCETUR) invites travelers to visit the Andes region of Peru, home to Cusco, the "birthplace of the world", and Machu Picchu, UNESCO's seventh wonder of the world. Among the variety of attractions captivating landscapes, travelers to Peru's highlands engage in various adventure sports, admire the diverse ecological species, archaeology, religious culture and handicrafts.

Peru's highlands make up 30% of the national territory and 36% of the population. One of the more extreme regions of Peru, as the landscape ranges from snowcapped mountainous terrains to lively, tropical jungle areas. Its rich history boasts in the magnificent colonial and Inca architecture and deep traditions where travelers can experience the production of fine weaving and metalwork in gold and silver.

MINCETUR, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, showcased the diversity of Peru at the 49th Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. During the Festival, visitors experienced the cultural expression of the Peru through traditional crafts, including communities that showcased traditional highland crafts from Ayacucho and textiles from Cusco.

Ayacucho crafts highlighted at the Festival included the creation of masks in celebration of Three Kings Day (January 6), used by dancers to honor the birth of Jesus. Painted wood crafts tell stories illustrating religious celebrations and everyday life stories. The weaving of tapestries were influenced by Hispanic and contemporary Western cultures. The south-central Andes are at the heart of pottery production, where traditional ceramics play importance in the contemporary home.