Q'ero (in 3 -vowel spelling of the Quechua: Q'iru ) is a Quechua community or ethnic group in the province of Paucartambo in the department of Cusco in Peru. She became known through an ethnological expedition of Dr. Oscar Nuñez del Prado from the University of San Antonio Abad in Cusco in 1955, as a result for the first time the Inkarrí myth has been published.

Location of the community, history

Dr. Oscar Nuñez del Prado met in 1949 during the festival of the Virgin of Carmen in Paucartambo a group know Q'ero Indians and led six years later ( 1955) the first western expedition into their territory. Until the 1960s there was in Q'ero a hacienda where the Q'eros similar serfs under large landowners ( hacendados ) lived. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Núñez del Prado they were in 1963 exempted from this system by the local Hacienda expropriated during the agrarian reform and the land was returned to the Q'eros. So here the landowners were sold even before the great land reform under Juan Velasco Alvarado.

The remote villages of Q'eros are over 4,400 m altitude in the snow-capped Vilcanota mountain range, the highest in the south- eastern Peru. The earth is but little here, and the Q'ero Indians live in simple conditions, usually in one-room only, about 20 sqm large houses of stone and mud with roofs made ​​of hard grass. The country spans several climatic zones, from less than 1,800 m to about 4,700 m. Depending on the climate, for example, corn or potatoes are grown, the fields by means of passage grave log ( Chaki Taklla ) are dug by human muscle power. At the top are llamas, alpacas and sheep kept, whose wool is spun and processed using traditional looms to textiles.

The population of Q'ero was around the year 2000 at about 600 in the year 2013, the Q'ero nation had about 2,000 people, spread over 14 villages. The two villages Hatun Q'ero and Hapu Q'ero are level to over 4,000 m and are about a day's march apart. The low-lying areas of the municipality are only seasonally inhabited to work the fields; as temporary dwellings where they serve small huts made ​​of mud and branches ( Chuklla ).


Q'ero is one of the villages where there are strong elements of Andean religion, merged with mainly Christian beliefs, have kept ( syncretism ). Shaman or Paqu ( Paqo ) of various degrees ( Altumisayuq, Pampamisayuq ) still enjoy watching. In addition to the Mother Earth ( Pachamama ), the mountain spirits ( Apu ), including the Apu Ausangate ( Apu Awsanqati ) and other local deities are still respected.

The Q'ero Indians trace their ancestry back to Inkarrí, the legendary first Inca, as they refer to their descendants. According to tradition, their ancestors were able to save as a single before the genocide of the Spaniards. Tales of the old Q'eros According tried during the Conquista a troop of Spanish soldiers to conquer the land of the Q'ero nation. The priest ( Paqu ) asked the local mountain spirits ( Apu ) for help, whereupon large boulders triggered the mountain walls and Wiraquchapampa slew the Spanish troops. The term Wiraqucha is traditionally for whites or Spaniards used in the indigenous of the Andes, so that the place name Wiraquchapampa as "level of [ slain ] Spanish " can be interpreted.

In the mythology of the Q'ero Indians, there have been two great age, which may be produced by big time Wenden ( Pachakutiy ), while a new time is yet to come. In the first age ( Ñawpa Pacha ), the time of the first people ( Ñawpa Machu ), there was only the moon ( Mama Killa ). The first time turning the sun appeared ( Inti, also Wayna Qhapaq, young ruler called ) and dried the Ñawpa Machu out. The King Inca ( Inkarrí ) was the son of the sun and the father of the Incas, thus also ancestor of the Q'ero Indians. As Inkarrí tossed his golden staff into the air, this was stuck upright in the ground. Right there, he founded the city Qusqu ( Cusco ), as had been prophesied to him. In all previous litters of staff elsewhere in the bar was never just stayed put. The present age ( Kay Pacha ) began with the arrival of the Spaniards and the violent death of Inkarrí, which was then transported to the fabled place Paytiti. Often the Kay Pacha Inka time is expected, which is also the age of the Sun ( Inti ). This period will end with another Pachakutiy if Inkarrí returns and everything in gold and silver turned ( Taripay Pacha ). The sun will burn the world with the bad people while the good in heaven ( Hanaq Pacha ) come. The return of the Inkarrí should already be done soon; as a sign of his gradual growth is seen, for example, already made expulsion of the planters, which should have been very cruel.

In the cosmology of the Q'ero Indians we live in a universe of " living energy " ( Kawsay Pacha ). This universe is divided into three parts Hanaq Pacha (the upper world), Kay Pacha ( this world ) and Ukhu Pacha (the lower world or " inner world "). In addition, between " subtle energies " ( sami ) and "heavy energy " ( hucha ) is distinguished. The upper world is a place dominated by the predominantly "fine" energies and inhabited by ethereal beings. The middle world is our material world, which is inhabited by humans, animals and plants, but also all kinds of spirits, such as the example the Apus. The middle world consists of both "heavy" and from " fine " energies. The lower world is finally mostly traversed by " big" energies and includes beings who are not regarded as 'evil', but as a cunning and sinister. As already pre-Columbian Andean cultures, the mythology of the Q'ero Indians divided the world not in "good" and "evil." The nature of the lower world are merely not as developed from their state of consciousness as humans and therefore have different morals. With the Christianization of the Andean people and the old terms were covered with new meanings: From the sky Hanaq Pacha, Pacha Ukhu from hell, from sami happiness and blessing from hucha sin was. The remoteness of Q'ero wore while assisting in more than in other regions to obtain original Andean ideas today.

Both the work and the spiritual practices that Q'ero are strongly tied to nature. With the help of healing and sacrificial ceremonies, called despachos, the Mother Earth ( Pachamama ) be and the mountain spirits ( Apu ) with sacrifices. As in other Quechua communities characterizes the tradition of Ayni everyday life. In a " give and take" to help each other, both people with each other and man and nature.


In Q'ero still speak all age groups, the Inca language Quechua (variant: Qusqu - Qullaw ), which, however, has adopted many words and to some extent syntax from Spanish. In school, Spanish is taught so many of the younger ones, especially in Hapu Q'ero, also some Spanish can speak.


The Q'eros are considered living witnesses of the last Inca culture and preservers of the old tradition. On the basis of investigations by Jorge Flores Ochoa, Manuel Castillo Farfán, Juan Núñez del Prado and others who met with the Q'ero on openness, today is pretty much known about these indigenous community. The Minister of Culture of Peru called the Q'ero as a "national, living cultural heritage."