Corani and its Colonial Church, Carabaya Province, Peru

Corani, 4,000 metres high in Peru’s southern Andes, is one of Carabaya Province’s 10 district capitals. Enveloped by impressive mountains, Corani’s district has several places worth seeing including prehistoric Titulmachay cave art, Jaylluwa Stone Forest and colonial and pre-Inca gold processing sites.

Corani District shield, Carabaya Province, Puno Region, Peru

Corani District’s shield includes a llama, tree and gold

The Spanish may have developed colonial village of Corani on an existing settlement as next to the town was a pre-Columbian cairn.

Pre-Columbian cairn on the outskirts of Corani town, Carabaya Province, Puno, Peru

A pre-Columbian cairn on Corani’s outskirts in front of snow-capped mountains

Unfortunately, Corani, like many places in Peru and South America, has a garbage problem. Long lasting non-recyclable polystyrene clamshell food containers in particular predominate at roadsides and water courses and, in my opinion, should be banned.

Rubbish in Corani, Peru

Rubbish including polystyrene clamshell food containers in a Corani drain waiting to be washed downstream with the next rain

Corani village, Carabaya Province, Peru

The village of Corani next to a mountain range; the white building is an old church with a thatch-roofed bell tower

Corani Plaza de Armas fountain, Carabaya Province, Peru

Fish, frogs, condor heads, puma heads and a mermaid (on central bath support) feature in this fountain in Corani’s central square (Plaza de Armas)

Something also found throughout South America is proselytising by Jehovah’s Witnesses. People with identical stands filled with leaflets await at seemingly every public square. Unfortunately, not even a tiny village like Corani could escape them. Here, a mother and daughter from Lima didn’t have a stand but they did have leaflets in both Spanish and indigenous Quechua, the mother tongue of most Corani locals.

Corani town square in front of mountains, Peru

Corani’s town square with visiting Jehovah’s Witnesses proselytising next to the (Catholic) church

Jehovah's Witnesses flyer in Quechua language, Corani, Peru

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ flyer in Quechua; the photos and formatting appear identical to flyers in other languages

Corani village’s colonial Catholic church is in a state of disrepair. For a donation one can enter and see its interesting interior and decorations.

Corani colonial church, Carabaya Province, Peru

The church has old naïve art and statues

Corani colonial church, Carabaya Province, Peru

A decorated arch below the church’s corrugated iron roof; I suspect the church originally had a thatched roof like its accompanying bell tower

When the Spanish conquered South America they forced locals to convert to Catholicism and destroyed all evidence found of other beliefs. Many indigenous combined their original traditions with the enforced Catholicism and Corani’s church contained examples of this syncretism.

Relic, Corani colonial church, Carabaya Province, Peru

A church relic featuring Catholic Jesus and indigenous symbols of the sun and moon

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  1. Pingback: Colonial and Pre-Inca Gold Technology | Where is Joe.in?

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