The Wapululos de Lampa Carnival, celebrated in Lampa province (Puno region), was declared National Cultural Heritage by Peru's Executive Power.
The festivity celebrates the renewal of life, the prosperity of crops and the abundance of cattle, which makes it an icon for local identity at regional and national levels.
Carnival is a European tradition related to fertility, whose origin dates back to religious Roman celebrations that marked the transition from winter into spring and the beginning of the agricultural cycle.
In the Andean world —as part of the process of evangelization in Spanish colonial times— several religious observances were associated with dates marking local production cycle.
For this reason, carnival in rural Andean communities is presented as a fertility celebration, during the rainy season and the ripening of crops.
As a variant of this general pattern, both Lampa Carnival and the Wapululos dance maintain particular features that shape Lampa district's cultural identity, involving neighborhoods, populated centers, and peasant communities.
The Lampa Carnival consists of two celebratory moments:
El Huchuy Carnival, or Small Carnival, which takes place every year in January within the framework of Saint Sebastian celebration.
The Hatun Carnival, or Big Carnival, that lasts a whole week, and whose date can fall anytime between February and March.
Keeping the tradition alive
The Wapululos de Lampa is a form of music and dance that involves two different scopes of representation: The traditional festive context of carnivals and the contest performance space. It also provides insight into roles of male and female dancers within the troupes.