Torito de Pucará, from the Andean ritual to our homes

The “Torito de Pucará” is a symbol of the Andean culture, known as qonopa or illa, that was used in rituals.

Then it became a totem symbolizing protection, it is very common to see it in the highest part of the roofs of houses and businesses in Puno. It is also a symbol of happiness in marriage and fertility in the home.

And it is recently that it has been given a more aesthetic value, largely due to tourism. Now they have become inside the houses as decorative elements, integrating with our style of decoration.

Torito de Pucará, from the Andean ritual to our homes 01

Source: Toro, torito de Pucará. Johnny Schuler collection.

The birthplace of the Torito de Pucará

The Torito de Pucará is not originated only from Pucará, although it is named after the Pucará railway station since it is a place where it is usually sold due to its strategic position between the cities of Cusco and Puno.

Its origin reaches the entire North Lake Titicaca Basin which has a pottery tradition that began more than 3000 thousand years ago. Here the Pucará culture was developed, which includes the current territories of the districts of Pucará, José Domingo Choquehuanca and Santiago de Pupuja.

Torito de Pucará, from the Andean ritual to our homes 02

Source: Toro, torito de Pucará. Johnny Schuler collection.

Torito de Pucará, from the Andean ritual to our homes 03

Source: Toro, torito de Pucará. Johnny Schuler collection.

Tradition

El Torito de Pucará is traditional art that is inherited from the ancestors, and it is from the age of 6-8 years that the children begin to manipulate the clay. A tradition that is also the sustenance of many of the families that are dedicated to its manufacture and cultural diffusion of this part of Peru.

Its raw material is clay (or sañu, in Quechua) that is glazed and baked in ovens at over 4.000 meters high (13.000 feet). Its production takes place all year, but especially in the period between May and October.

Torito de Pucará, from the Andean ritual to our homes 04

Source: Toro, torito de Pucará. Johnny Schuler collection.

Torito de Pucará, from the Andean ritual to our homes 05

Source: Toro, torito de Pucará. José Lecaros collection. Artisans: Mariano Choquehuana and Simón Roque.

The legend that is told in the region

They say that the bull of Pucará represents the cult to this animal and that began many years ago during a very strong drought that affected this area. A farmer climbed with his bull to San Cayetano hill waiting for the miracle of finding water.

But halfway up the hill, the bull got tired and ended up goring a rock. And from there, water began to sprout. Since then, bulls are symbols of strength, courage and energy, and are placed on the roofs of houses.

My Torito de Pucará

Torito de Pucará, from the Andean ritual to our homes 06 Torito de Pucará, from the Andean ritual to our homes 07

Do you want to visit Peru and learn more about its crafts? Check the links down

Have a nice day!

Fiorella 🙂

Sources:

Toro, torito de Pucará. Galería y estudios. Mincetur. Perú, 2010.

http://www.cpap.pe/node/71

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8 Comments

  • Autumn 2019-01-16 at 4:59 pm

    The tale behind this cultural design is so intriguing. I wonder is it considered rude or even bad luck to use this in a home without the background knowledge? I know many cultures find using statues of deities without proper placement, care, etc. Is very rude.

    Reply
    • lacasadefreja 2019-01-21 at 10:58 am

      Thats a good question 🙂 The population of this area of Peru already use these figures in the top of their houses or businesses as they say they give prosperity and fertility to their houses and families. I think while we learn, respect and use them in the same way, its OK. I´m not from that part of Peru but I´m happy to have a bit of my culture at home.

      Reply
  • Jen @Jenron Designs 2019-01-17 at 4:36 pm

    This is an amazing legend. I love to learn about these in other cultures and it is probably one of my favorite things about traveling to other countries. Cant wait to get to Peru some day.

    Reply
    • lacasadefreja 2019-01-21 at 10:58 am

      Hope you can visit Peru someday 🙂

      Reply
  • Lexington 2019-01-18 at 12:00 am

    I would love to visit Peru! This is a great post. I learned so much!

    Reply
    • lacasadefreja 2019-01-21 at 11:03 am

      Thanks, hope you do it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Tracy @ Cleland Clan 2019-01-18 at 3:46 am

    How interesting! These would make great souvenirs for travelers–taking part of the culture home with you.

    Reply
    • lacasadefreja 2019-01-21 at 11:04 am

      Yes and its great to learn a bit of them too

      Reply

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