African, Blacks in Peru? - Afro-Peruanos?

by Michelle
(Great Falls)

Several Afro-Peruvian Athletes in group to Peking 2008

Several Afro-Peruvian Athletes in group to Peking 2008

I would like to know more about Blacks in Peru. I haven't found much information but have seen an Afro-Peruvian group on the news lately. Do you have any information?


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That's a great question, Michelle.

Here are some facts about Afro-Peruvians:

Afro-Peruvian is a term that refers to the culture of the descendants of various African/Black ethnic groups that arrived in Peru during the colonial period.

Most of the Afro-Peruvian population is located along the coast, mainly in south-central coast at Callao, and in the provinces of CaƱete, Chincha, Ica and Nazca.

Another important segment of Afro-Peruvian population is located on the north coast in the Lambayeque as well as Sullan and Piura areas and to a lesser extent, Tumbes.

The area surrounding the city of Piura has a lot of the Yapatera people; basically, the purest ones who least have married into other culture as opposed to more mixed groups known as the Chincha.

The Yapatera consist of about 10,000 Afro-Peruvians, most descended from African slaves during the Spanish colonization of Peru. They are mostly involved in agriculture and farming.

In Chincha (south of Lima), the pure African and his descendants were converted by the Dominicans and Jesuits. As nominal Christians, their Afro religious symbols and ideas took on Catholic names and were freely mixed. This gave rise to the patron of the Afro-Peruvian blacks: the black Virgen del Carmen.

The art of the Chichas reflects their cultural and religious mixture and is reflected in their folkloric music and lyrics.

Signalling the hard work, fatigue, sickness, and loneliness of black Peruvian history, their artists and poets have written "panalivios," dances, celebrations, samba, and other typical music.

Afro-Peruvians have contribute much to the performing and cultural art of Peru. The chinchano culture has also produced a number of great Peruvian athletes.

David Schneider (Editor and general office boy at Inside-Peru.com)

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