Warachicuy – The Inca Warrior Ritual

Warachicuy was a traditional Inca ceremony, celebrated many years ago, marking the passage from adolescence to maturity, revealing new warriors of the Inca Empire.

The military ritual survived the years and is still remembered today in Cusco, reaffirming the Inca culture in the region.

Physical strength and readiness to become a great warrior were revealed through this ritual.

The young people were subjected to physical effort tests and, through them, they were inserted into the hierarchy of the Inca community.

“Haylliy wayna inkakuna!” – “¡Triunfo, jóvenes incas!” (phrase in Quechua, exclaimed in the ritual).

How is Warachicuy today?

If you have been in Cusco during the month of September, it is likely that you have already witnessed the celebration of this ritual that the Incas carried out very seriously.

Held on the third Sunday in September, Warachicuy brings together approximately 1,500 young people.

The event, this year, was promoted by the Institute of Higher Education Gregoria Santos.

Physical stress tests are still performed, but with less intensity. An important fact preserved to maintain the festive pattern.

How is Warachicuy nowadays - Viajes Cusco

The Warachicuy Festival

The opening ceremony is for the younger students, who do not participate in the competition.

They perform with typical dances and clothing from the Andes, representing the ceremony of the Sun God, Ritual Chincha (sacred drink), Rite of Fire and Chaqu (ritual of threads).

After these dances and performances, the competitions begin, which are also accompanied by dances to represent them.

It is easy to notice that the dance and the representativeness of the culture in Cusco are inseparable, following the traditions.

The Warachicuy Festival - Viajes Cusco

How are the tests?

After all the ceremonies have been completed, the tests begin. Are they:

Speed:Obstacle on the terrace.

Strength:a rope pull test.

Endurance:test where the participants are suspended between two parallel chains, where the winner is the one who reaches the other end.

Ability:Jump through rings of fire.

Worth: a test that involves crossing a suspension bridge from one end to the other.

At the end of the tests, the participants are welcomed and marked by the passage to adulthood.

In Cusco, the endurance tests are still underway and the students have been preparing for months to complete all the tests and win.

How are the tests - Warachicuy - Viajes Cusco

“Haylli mosoq inkakuna … qochorikuychis!” “Jóvenes incas, disfruta de tu victoria”.

Warachicuy - Viajes Cusco Peru

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Inspirational font: Andean Parliament and Canal Muni Canchis
Images: Flickr

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Vanessa Luffet
Viajes Cusco Peru
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