My Peru - A Guide to the Culture and Traditions of the Andean Communities of Peru

A Guide to the Culture and Traditions of the Andean Communities of Peru



responsible tourism

my community




traditional clothing

traditional dances

fiestas & festivals


rituals & beliefs

natural medicines

agricultural calendar


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local ngo's

Agricultural Calendar - July & August


Threshing - Chinchero 20 July 2007

A donkey is made to walk in circles on the straw. This separates the grain and chaff from the straw. The straw is then removed and the grain and chaff is separated by throwing it into the air on a windy day. The wind blows the chaff away and leaves the grain on the ground. This activity is common in the fields during the months of June and July.

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Preparing Chuño - Chinchero 22 July 2007

In the preparation of chuño negro potatoes are spread out evenly on the ground and exposed to freezing temperatures during the night. During the day the potatoes thaw out. This freeze-thaw cycle is repeated over a period of 4 or 5 days until the potatoes become soft and mushy.. The potatoes are then trampled bare-foot to squeeze out the juice. Eventually the potatoes become dehydrated in the sun and they can be stored. The potatoes can then be used throughout the year, mainly in soups and stews. The Chuño was so precious to the Inca that it was used as currency and collected as tribute and a staple used by Inca soldiers.

Nutritionally, the potato supplies complex carbohydrates essential for energy and a very low amount (about 10 percent) of protein. One serving (a 5.3-ounce medium potato) provides: 45 percent of Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin C (most of it in the millimetres-thick layer immediately under the skin), 21 percent of potassium, 3 grams of fibre, essentially no fat, and only 100 calories. It is rich in the minerals iron and magnesium and supplies all the vital nutrients except calcium and vitamins A and D.

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