This photograph from the Corpus Christi festival in Cuzco, Peru, shows indigenous peoples carrying religious artifacts. The festival begins 60 days after Easter. Representatives from nearby churches take part in the main day procession, bearing statues of their patron saints in a procession to the city’s main cathedral. On the eve of the procession, it is customary to prepare 12 traditional dishes, including cuy chiriuchu (guinea pig), cornbread, beer, and chicha (fermented corn beverage). The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS Charter, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the pursuit of common goals and respect for each other’s sovereignty. Since then, the OAS has expanded to include the nations of the English-speaking Caribbean as well as Canada. The predecessor organization to the OAS was the Pan American Union, founded in 1910, which in turn grew out of the International Union of American Republics, established at the First International Conference of American States in 1889-90.
Place: Latin America and the Caribbean; Peru; Cuzco
Institution: Columbus Memorial Library, Organization of American States
Physical description: 8 x 10 inches; black and white photograph