Santiago Cast, a performer with Raíces del Peru prepares to fly as the Andean Condor in the Calgary Stampede Parade on July 5, 2019. © J. Ashley Nixon
Peru has been featured for three years in the Calgary Stampede Parade and it would not be the same without El Cóndor Pasa. Made famous in the lyrics of the song written by Paul Simon and performed by Simon and Garfunkle in their 1970 album Bridge Over Troubled Water, the music is derived from a traditional folk song from the Andes.
El Cóndor Pasa is part of Peru’s Intrinsic Cultural Heritage
The composition is attributed to the Peruvian ethnomusicologist, Daniel Alomía Robles who wrote the music in 1913 as part of a zarzuela, a musical play that alternates between spoken and sung parts. Peru is proud of this internationally recognized song which has been declared as part of the country’s rich and diverse intrinsic cultural heritage.
Beyond the song, the Andean Condor, Vultur gryphus, a huge soaring vulture was believed by the Incas to be the sun god’s messenger. It continues to be seen as a symbol of power and health in many Andean cultures.
There’s a lot more than cowboys, cowgirls, horses and showbands in the Stampede Parade.
For photographs from the 2019 Calgary Stampede Parade and previous events, please visit J. Ashley Nixon Photography