African-Andean Crescent Moon
know about the people who went down the range, but what do we know
about the people who
came in like slave?
Photos by Piura’s
Cambia a español.
–They became crucial part of our identity as a country and as a
continent. The first African communities commanded to migrate to
Peru’s Viceroyalty settled mainly at the coast where they
those communities brought as slaves initially spotted in Suipirá
(pronounce “Sweepeera”) barracks, Historia
Historian Miguel Arturo Seminario pointed out. There are not
remaining evidences of those camps located nearby Las Lomas City
actual downtown (Piura
yet, except a neighborhood named like this.
to African-Peruvian Culture House of Yapatera’s (Morropon
director Abelardo Alzamora, traffic was made from Paita seaport as
well as Ayabaca and Huancabamba highlands, between 16th
inclusive, judging exchange notes used by senior farmers
for dealing about these people, like merchandise acquired in Atlantic
and Caribbean seaports mainly.
farm had its slaves group,” he remembers.
most came from Africa
coasts and Madagascar
Island. As a evidence, mangaches
the traditional fellas at North of actual Piura
historical downtown (what holds quite few history) could be named
because of Madagascan people, malgache
(pronounce “malga-che”) in
actual Piura State, African people adapted better to coas-range
transitional zone, working forced on agriculture, cattle, and leather
& soap manufacturing, as enrique López Albújar
portraits on Matalaché
most important African-descendant communities could be summoned in
former farms where today Las Lomas, Tambogrande, Malingas, Paccha
(pronounce “Packcha”), Yapatera, La Matanza and Morropon
towns are located.
somebody puts down those places on a map and trace a line for unite
all them, will see that a kind of curve gets formed surrounding
Piura’s Andean low slopes.
If that projects a inner influence
zone, we will see a a kind of crescent moon gets formed. The essence
of Piura’s culture concentrates there – African-Andean
this does not discard another locations outside this area in the rest
of Chira and Piura Valleys.)
20th century’s first half, African-descendant communities began
to share space and activities with Piura’s highlands migrants
who had decided to live in all towns of crescent moon’s
influence zone because of irrigation projects as San Lorenzo’s,
or simply to improve their life standards.
join Tallán (pronounce “Tahjan”) people who lived
in that zone before Spaniards arrived in 1532 A.D.
people were skillful on cloth, stone and metals handicraft, the
African with wood sculpture, the Tallan with mud and metals. Their
common issue is a large experience in agriculture, architecture,
music and gastronomy, which fusion is one of the most recent icons of
History claimed about Andean and Tallan people, but what did happen
to African people?
to Abelardo Alzamora, Peru’s
does not make visible his ancestors yet, as it does make to Andean
and Amazonic people what are called originals.
African-Peruvian ccommunity could not be named as original people by
definition (they born in Africa), Alzamora feels it is necessary to
deserve them an equitative status because of their contribution to
national cultural and political tradition. There is already a lobby
started by African-Peruvian National Coordinator, without results
Yapatera’s House of Culture what Alzamora directs, it is still
spossible to see the stocks that senior farmers used to torture black
slaves. All the space has remnants of that heritage which it is not
only carried in skin tone but inside the heart, and that is one of
the also-writer’s fights, a fight what looks for superating
poverty and invisibility, despite Regional Government of Piura has
pased a rule against all types of discrimination.
and discrimination came along,” Alzamora sentences, and it
outbreaks in poor services of education, health and urbanism for
Yapatera and rrural towns surrounding it. “We need public
policies benefitting African-descendant people,” he adds.
Yapatera, once district capital before nearby Chulucanas got
important, is the largest African-Peruvian community, he emphasizes.
Fernando Barranzuela is an old poet and cultural promotor, who told
me once a decade and a half ago, some Suipirá’s slaves
came from Cumaná, Venezuela, and they had developed impro
techniques with large verses. As they made them so common in that
group, those performances were called cumananas.
few people wwent in depth about their roots as Grammy-winner
and former Peru’s Minister of Culture Susana Baca, who
and Water in
1992, a book plus a an audio CD going in retrospective looking inside
for those origins.
is spending his still remaining energy in keeping cumanana alive,
achieving to ‘graduate’ around 50 people with tenths
if you need a town’s spoken historical vademecum, you gotta
meet him as Nobel Award of Litterature’s winner Mario Vargas
Llosa made it.
niece, the teacher Edadil Barranzuela fights by her side in the
classrooms for the next generations to be proud of their African
ancestors and to practice gender equity. But her dificulty is she
teaches Maths, so how may she include the topics?
I speak about statistics or sets, I take advantage of motivations and
examples to include the issue because that’s not my subject,
and I also use Tutorial Mentorship hours,” she tells.
Barranzuela is a teacher of Yapater’as José Pintado
Berrú high school, where that almost-subliminal work seems to
have some goals: more than five years ago, approximately 3 of every
20 female teenagers left classrooms because they fell in love with
older men, who became them mothers. Today, she estimates desertion
reduced to 1 of every 20 ones.
and the Barranzuelas are the stars of Toward
a new African Horizon in Yapatera
documentary, produced by Piura’s Microcinemas Network, a Chaski
Comunicación affiliate, to be premiered this week. Feature’s
objective is helping those efforts not to vanish anonymously,
forgotten, network’s coordinator in the state (and
African-descendant too) Segundo Chávez argues.
legacy is out there, but as Abelardo Alzamora says, “the
university and the academy ignore it” although they are
beginning to research it.
are still babies in intercultural education,” he adds.
when may we insuflate madurity to almost ahlf-a-century of history in
Piura? The challenge seems to be right there.
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