The U.S.’s paper of record took a look at the famous Andean pilgrimage.
This weekend, the New York Times set its sights on the famed Peruvian pilgrimage to Qoyllurity.
Writer Paula Sadok joined in the pilgrimage because she had been told that “the festival has the power to restore order to chaos, both in the outside world and within.”
For Sadok, one highlight of the trip was the Albacitas market, where charms representing the pilgrims’ aspirations could be purchased, only to later be buried on the mountain. She was most awestruck, however, by the traditional dancing, with different nations dressing in elaborate costumes and dancing to music played on flutes and drums.
Sadok was impressed by the ability of the native indigenous villagers to scamper over a mountain slope at 15,000 feet as if it was a sidewalk, and especially by the ukukus, the half-man/half-bears who have to travel to the glacier to perform ceremonial rites. She also marveled at the way a small city can be constructed for the pilgrims overnight.
It seems that Sadok found what she was looking for; at the end of the ceremony, she wrote, “Everything would return to its rightful place, flowing as smoothly as water melting from a mountaintop glacier, finding its way to the river below.”