The masks are used in nineteen different types of veneration dances to the Virgen del Carmen, both in Paucartambo and in other nearby towns within the province of the same name.
The Government of Peru declared the nation’s cultural patrimony the elaboration of the Paucartambo masks, emblem of the festivity of the Virgen del Carmen in this town in the southern Andean region of Cusco.
A resolution of the Ministry of Culture published in the official newspaper El Peruano incorporated the Paucartambo masks to its cultural heritage to preserve the knowledge and techniques used by local artisans in its creation, at the request of the Decentralized Directorate of Culture (DDC) of the Cusco region.
The document argues that masks are an expression of plastic arts that contains historical and aesthetic memory, and that is part of the cultural identity of the people of Paucartambo.
Las máscaras son utilizadas en diecinueve tipos distintos de danzas de veneración a la Virgen del Carmen, tanto en Paucartambo como en otros pueblos cercanos dentro de la provincia del mismo nombre.
The characters and choreographies of the dances represent historical and mythical events, as well as social groups that interact within the society of Paucartambo, product of the syncretism between the Andean and Hispanic traditions.
Among the dances that are customary to represent are qhapaq ch’unchu, qhapaq qolla, qhapaq black, saqra, contradanza, qoyacha, majeño, k’achampa, chilean awqa, chukchu, waka waka, wayra, bakers, maqt’as, ch ‘ unchachas, danzaq, negrillo, misti kanchi and pawqartampus.
In recent decades, Paucartambo masks have gained prestige and are also marketed as souvenirs among tourists who arrive in the province.
Also, the mayordomos of the dance troupes give them to their relatives, mainly in miniature, also as a souvenir.
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