Cusco’s Señor de los Temblores [Featured]

April 11th, 2009
Señor de los Temblores, Cusco

Señor de los Temblores, Cusco

Ward sums up the Semana Santa tradition of the Señor de los Temblores procession in Cusco while Patricia provides the photos.

Worshipping a divine entity that causes and prevents earthquakes has its origin on the Peruvian coast at the ancient city of Pachacamac, and was folded into the Inca belief system to ease their conquering of central Peru, just as it was folded into Catholicism to ease the conquering of Peru by the Spanish.

This particular catholic image/idol is said to date back to the time of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who sent it to Cusco especially for the conquered natives. With its less than European depiction of Christ, it was hoped that it would cement the conquest. It appears to have worked judging by the number of Cusqueños who adore it.

Señor de los Temblores is celebrated in Cusco during Holy Week, or Semana Santa. On Easter Monday the image of Señor de los Temblores is carried through the city in a procession that ends in front of the Cusco Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas, or main square, of Cusco. Tens of thousands gather on the Plaza de Armas and surrounding streets to see the procession.

Earthquakes are common here in the Andes, and people worship Señor de los Temblores because they believe he protects them from dangerous earthquakes. It is believed that the image of Señor de los Temblores was taken out during the devastating earthquake in Cusco in 1650, and the earthquake stopped. I’ve also heard many locals say the same thing happened during the earthquake in 1950, the most recent serious earthquake here in Cusco.

See the photos on their blog here »

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