A dancer from Raíces del Peru performs the Diablada Puño in the Calgary Stampede Parade on July 8, 2022. © J. Ashley Nixon
Raíces del Peru (Roots of Peru) returned to the full Calgary Stampede Parade in 2022 after the pandemic halted the procession for a couple of years.
Calgary puts on one of the largest parades in North America to start off ten days of stampeding and the chance to dress up in cowboy boots and hats at parties, stampede breakfasts and other events across the city. Around 4,000 participants walk or ride (in vehicles and on horseback) the 5 km route around the downtown core in front of more than 200,000 onlookers.
Here’s a short film of Raíces del Perú in the 2022 Calgary Stampede Parade.
Lord of Sipán
The highlight of this year’s event was the Lord of Sipán (El Señor de Sipán), an emperor from the Mochica culture of Peru, that existed in the 3rd century AD long before the Incas arrived.
His elegant headdress and golden artifacts are known from an important archaeological discovery in 1987 at Huaca Rajada, near the city of Chiclayo on the Pacific coast of northern Peru. One of the many curiosities associated with this discovery is the golden plate over the ruler’s mouth, believed to have been used to hide his emotions from his people. Another is the spectacular golden necklace created in the form of giant peanuts, which symbolized rebirth for the Mochica culture.
Archaeological findings of The Lord of Sipan (left) at Huaca Rajada, Chiclayo, Peru and in performance (right) in the Calgary Stampede Parade, July 8, 2022. © J. Ashley Nixon
Raíces del Perú presented a rotation of dances from the Pacific coast, Andean mountains and Amazon rainforest that form part of the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) of Peru. These included the Huaylarsh, which originates from the Mantaro Valley, and the spectacular Diablada from Puno further south in the Andes.