This series of portraits sheds light on the esthetics of the XXIst century men and women in their working environment. It’s a testimony about the knowledge and human savoir-faire in the world and let us met all the beauty of those working men and woman that strives to accomplish a lifetime duty.
This work leads me to the most incredible craft shops and work places of artisans, artists and workers of Peru. From Lima to Paracas Desert going through Ayacucho, Cuzco, Patacancha, Ica, Nazca and Puno, all those people are perpetuating an ancestral knowledge often used way before the Spanish came in Peru.
She helps her daughters in sorting corn grain for the artisanal chicha production.
Marcial Berrocal Evanan - Tablas de Pinturas Master
Born in the traditional city of Sarhua at 3h driving from Ayacucho, Marcial Berrocal Evanan produces Las Tablas de Sarhua. When a family had a new home, the artist of the village used to paint some key moment of their lives, specific stories about them on a big piece of wood that they would hand on a wall as decoration. After the violent time of the "Shining Path” the Sarhuinos started to work on shorter pieces so it could be easier to sell it in Lima. Few years ago, the Ministry of Culture of Peru recognized Las Tablas de Sarhua as a National Cultural Patrimony.
Saturnino - Minor
Living and working in Arequipa area, Saturnino is a Minor in a Sillar quarry, a white stone used to build the Arequipa city since centuries.
Saturnino needs around an hour of work to be able to extract one perfect block from the quarry. Each stone is soled for 5 soles ( around 1€). During a good day he can carve more or less 12 stones. Nowadays Saturnino works more and more with tourists guide, explaining to tourists all the history behind this quarry, the Sillar stone and all the process of extraction of it.
Teodosia Hyatta Quispe - Weaver
Teodosia Hyatta Quispe 41 years old, is a weaver from Taquile, Island on the Titicaca Lake
Alejandro Flores - Weaver
Alejandro Flores, 66 ans is a reputed musician and weaver from Taquile Island . He learnt to work on the weaving loom with his parents. This cultural legacy continue at 4200m above the sea on the Titicaca Lake since generations.
Antonio Licona Tarco & Grandson - Baker
Antonio Licona Tarco, 82 years old, first worked for many years in the construction industry. He then join his wife family bakery business. Back in the days, all the bakers of Oropesa village used to have all the oven in the same place, at the center of the village. Now every baker has his own oven in their own place where they make and sell the bread everyday. His oven can cook around 50 big bread at each round, a small fan fan the fire continuously but one of the big knowledge of the baker is to perfectly maintain the temperature inside the artisanal oven. Fun fact, a pipe of water goes through the oven to provide hot water to the whole house.
Every morning Antonio start to work at 3:00 am with his grand son. their breakfast meal is made of course of freshly baked bread and a quinoa mate. Antonio is quite sure that this breakfast is the main reason why he’s still in a such good shape at his age.
Rocky - Scallop fisherman
Rocky fishes Scallops. He can use two different technics to do so. He either go freediving for few minutes or use a compressor in a small boat that pulse air in a pipe he holds in his mouth. This kind of fishing technic is quite dangerous and Rocky as well as other fisherman, works in a deeply isolated fishermen village at one end of the Paracas desert, at two hours driving from the first proper road.
Seaweed harvester - Paracas National Park
Chicoca - Desert Fisherman
Chicoca is quite a unique fisherman. Isolated at the end of the Paracas Desert national parc, you need to drive more than 1h30 in the desert without any track or road to be able to reach him. He lives there at the end of the desert, on a 60m high cliff above the Pacific Ocean. facing the strong winds of the sea, Chicoca needs to go down by hand on a simple artisanal rope to go fishing. He also has set fish lines from his basecamp to the point of the cliff 500m away from where lines go vertically down to the water. When he got enough fish he use his motorcycle to cross the desert and reach the town of Ica to sell his fishes.
John - National park Ranger
John works for the Ministry of Environement. with a team he works to preserve the local nature, and to teach tourists how to behave so the environment won’t be affected by their presence.
Quelqanka community - Lama farmers
Quelqanka Community lives in the Peruvian Andes near Patacancha. They’re farmers and raise Lamas since ages.
Valentin Mamani Sinche & his son - Shamans
Valentin Mamani Sinche is 68 years old. Hi and his son are from the Quelcanka community in the Peruvian Andes. He learn Shamanism with his uncle since he’s a little boy ; and he now pass over his knowledge to his son Eusebio Mamani Quispe ( 39yo)
In the Andean culture the shaman depends on the energies of the whole nature, fire, air, water are his strengths and knowledge. Each Peruvian culture got his own healer : Pacos lives in the mountains, Shamans on the coast, and the Caracas in the Jungle. Buch each of them are usually called Shamans. Offerings can be made to heal the spirit or the body, to protect houses and even to have better result in the farming, harvesting or fishing as for everything else that require help from the Inca Gods, Apu.
Baby Alpaga - Quelcanka
Nilda Luz Licona Ojeda & Fortunata Licona Ojeda
Nilda Luz Licona Ojeda & Fortunata Licona Ojeda, 36 and 57 years old are the two daughters of Antonio Licona Tarco, the Baker. They live and work in Oropesa, a village close to Cuzco where they sell the bread made by their father.
Jorge Choquewillka - Flute Maker
Alvaro Luján Lancho - Painter
Alvaro is a painter from Nazca. His father taught him to pain when he was a young boy. Alvaro makes amazing paintings of the victorious rooster that won a cock fight. But his also works on gigantic paintings where endangered species uses shadows to explain to other animals why and how the human being put them to death.
Q’eswachaka Bridge is the last remaining Inca rope bridge. Crossing the Apurimac River, the resident of the region keep the ancient tradition and skills alive by renewing the bridge every year.
The reconstruction is a communal effort made in honor of their ancestors and the Pachamama.
The bridge is made on site with the local grass, weaved to form strings and ropes.
Aurélio Umilde Mayhua - Chef
Before opening his own restaurant in the Maras area, Aurélio Umilde Mayhua was chef on expeditions and trecks. He also worked for Divina Comedia in Cuzco. To enjoy his restaurant, you must contact Aurélio beforehand, he then sends the card to customers who choose the content of their meal. All the ingredients that he uses are Peruvian.
Agripino Huamán Palomino - Goldsmith
Agripino Huamán Palomino was born in 1946 in Ayacucho, he started in goldsmithing at the age of 18 at the Ayacucho Crafts Center where he later taught himself, then at the School of Fine Arts. he won the first goldsmith's prize, then participated in all the competitions organized by the Silver Board of Peru. In 2013 he received the Joaquin Lopez Antay Prize of the Congress of the Republic. In 2015 he received the prize "President of the Republic" He always distinguished himself by the delicate work of his filigree creations representing traditional dancers, animals, chests etc. He made his own weaving loom silver wire.
Benjamin Pizarro - Sculptor
Benjamin Pizarro is a sculptor in Ayacucho. He was born in the artisanal district of Belén. His Master was Mr. Silverstre Quispe Ochante. Benjamin works a stone similar to marble found in the provinces of Cangallo and Vilcashuamán, south of Ayacucho. His subjects are mainly related to Andean traditions and folklore, as well as various Catholic religious icons. In 1970, at the age of 14, his work was awarded with the first prize of Huamanga University. In 2012 the Ministry of Culture distinguishes him as a meritorious personality of Peruvian culture.
Martha Tupayachi Tapia - Salt Harvester
Martha Tupayachi Tapia is 38 years old, since the age of 7 she works in the 4 saltpans owned by her family in Maras. She works there with her sister Bernardina Tuayachi Tapia.
Bernardina Tupayachi Tapia
Bernardina Tupayachi Tapia, 40, has been working since her seven years, as her sister Martha Tapayachi Tapia, in the basins of the salt mine of Maras owned by her family.
Bernardina Tupayachi Tapia & Martha Tupayachi Tapia, 40 and 38 years old, salt harvesters in the salt mine of Maras. Their family has four basins that they have been using for several generations.
Albizú Segovia Torres
Albizú Segovia Torres is an anthropologist, tour guide and breeder of "Caballos de Paso". He set up the Apupacha business which offers to horseback travel around Peru. Really in love with his animals, he leaves them most of the timeframe in the Andean mountains.
David Loayza - Guitar maker
David Loayza is a Luthier in Ayacucho, his guitars are played by some of the greatest guitarists in Peru. David, who was trained by Master Abraham Falcón among others, uses mahogany, Baltic pine, Oregon pine, rosewood, ebony and maple to make guitars, mandolins, lute charangos or bandurries .
Norberto Codoni - Traditional Costumes Maker
Norberto Codoni makes traditional costumes for local festivals in his workshop in Puno
Alfonso Sulca - Weaver Master
Alfonso Sulca, born in 1944 is a Master weaver. His father, Master Ambrosio Sulca taught him the art of weaving. At 75, Alfonso still practices his art. he works for temples, museums or private buyers. He has contributed to the development of a very particular style of Ayacucho from traditional weaving, through research work on natural dyes and the teaching and promotion of his art. He has won numerous awards such as Doctor Honoris Causa from Huamanga University.
Silvestre Ataucussi - Master of Retables
Born in the district of Vinchos in 1971, Silvestre Ataucussi makes altarpieces. Altarpeaces are small portable painted wood altars enclosing modeled scenes that represent religious, historical or daily events. The modeling is made from a mixture of plaster and baked potato. Silvestré learned from Master Florentino Jimenez, in 2012 the Ministry of Culture distinguishes him as a meritorious personality of Peruvian culture. He also created a museum of the altarpiece that explains all the processes of making a traditional altarpiece.
Mamerto Sánchez Cárdenas - Ceramist Master
Mamerto Sánchez Cárdenas was born in 1942 in the city of Quinua in the province of Ayacucho.As a master of ceramist, he taught his handicraft to all generations of young people in his city. His sharp knowledge in history, and myths of the area as well as a perfect knowledge of the different types of clays allow him to have a rich and incredible work. He has won innumerable awards for his work and is exhibited in several countries of the world. His most remarkable works are huge churches to be placed on the roofs of houses.
Máximo Límaco Soto - Ceramist
Máximo Límaco Soto was born in 1959 in the city of Quinua, his master was Mr. Mamerto Sánchez. At 12, he made his first ceramics, a clay pot for which his father congratulated him. He exhibited his work in various Latin American countries and took the opportunity to meet a large number of artisans. His workshop, in Quinua, has become over time a real giant museum of Andean ceramics. His main themes of work are churches, Christ and comic characters. Recently he focused his work on a more utilitarian objects for restaurants, cafes and hotels in the city of Ayacucho. One of his greatest awards was PROMPEX, the promotion of Peru's exports.
Tater Vera - Ceramist Master
Tater Vera is a native of Cuzco. Tater specializes in traditional enamelled ceramics, which came to Peru in the 15th century with the Spanish.
In 1950 an earthquake raged in Cuzco, the vast majority of artisans lost their production and had to close their workshops. With the arrival of new plastic materials, ceramist activity was no longer viable. It was in 1990 that Tater Vera began to take an interest in this colonial ceramics, has first goal was to preserve this knowledge. His work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the prestigious UNESCO Award of Excellence for Craftsmanship in 2014
Mauro Palomino - Luthier
Mauro Palomino comes from Chara, San Pablo. He has 3 girls and 1 boy who helps him and learns guitar making with him. in 1982, Mauro Palomino began to learn how to make guitars from his brother-in-law. Since then, several personalities have ordered his instruments such as Nivardo Carrillo, Fred Arredondo or Julian Huallpa. His son Yovani began learning guitar making with his father at the age of 15. In his free time with the cedar, mahogany or walnut rests used for guitars and chalangos, he makes small collectible toys. The recognizable rosettes of their guitars are made of fine marquetry; it takes them a whole day to make one. Nowadays it is Yovani who deals exclusively with rosettes, since his father gradually loses sight.
Julio Antonio Gutierrez - Ceramist Master
Julio Antonio Gutierrez (63) used to study Chemical engineering before studying Fine Arts. His father, an artist, convinced him to take a safer orientation than art and thus paid him his studies in Chemical Engineering. The subject of his thesis then deals with chemical engineering applied to ceramics. He then studied the construction of ceramic oven in Japan and then opened his own workshop in Peru in 1980. He taught ceramics until 1986 throughout Peru. Since 1992, he began a work of research about ceramic imported by the Spanish. This project finalized as a book won an award by the Ministry of Culture of Peru, Rescate of ceramica vidriada colonial cusqueña.
Jesusa Seqovia Torres - Hat Maker
Jesusa Seqovia Torres, 46, is a hat maker in Maras. The hat is an important part of the Colonial Métis costume. They are made of knitted straw then sprayed with wood glue to be painted and left to dry in the sun. She then decorated it with ribbons, pearls and buttons that identify the origin of the wearer.
Félicitas Torres Toccas is 73 years old she makes an artisanal Chicha which is a fermented corn beer. It takes about two weeks of work to produce a good quality chicha from the beginning of sprouting to tasting.
Félicitas Torres Toccas & her Husband - Chicha producers
Victor Olave Rupa - Ceramic master
Victor Olave Rupa is the son of Antonio Olave Palomino, a very famous imagineo ceramist from Peru. He works in the workshop of his late father, in Cuzco where he continues the exceptional family savoir-faire in the creation of Christian-inspired and pre-Hispanic works.
Marleny Callañaupa Q. - Lama wool Weaver
Marleny Callañaupa Q. is an alpaca weaver since she was 9 years old. She began to weave bracelets and belts before moving on to creating more complex and technical pieces such as ponchos, rugs and table runners. In this artisanal cooperative, everything is hand made, from mowing the Alpacas to the last line of weaving. The dyeing of wool is made on site from natural pigments only, cochineal, dried plants, stones and land…
Juan Carlos aka Anderson - Uros villager
Angel Eduardo Quispe Nina & his Son
Angel Eduardo Quispe Nina is 55 years old and works with her 26 year old son Miguel Angel Quispe Ccora in their Sicuani workshop. Both of them make Alpaca-skin stuffed toys, entirely made by hand.
Julia Mamani Amaru & Félix Puntaca Tupayachi
Julia Mamani Amaru, 50, learned pottery from her father at the age of 14. She is from the people of Raqchi. Her husband Félix Puntaca Tupayachi is 55 years old, his wife taught him ceramics since their marriage 22 years ago.
Roberto Lujano - Uros villager
Roberto Lujano, his wife and children, along with several other families in the region, continue the tradition of Uros. The Uros people lived on an artificial archipelago of about forty floating islands made with endemic reeds, the Totora. The totora which served the pre-Hispanic populations not to starve during a famine, allowed them to build homes, transportations, furniture, etc. Now most of the families in Uros come everyday on their island to explain their culture to the tourists, however some families persist to live like their ancestors while avoiding tourists. It takes 15 days to build a reed house and about 1 month to 3 workers to build a raft. A reed island has a lifespan of about 30 years.
Roxana Lujano - Uros Villager
Roxana Lujano, 59 years old lives in Uros where she weaves and takes care of her family.
Abraham Lujano - Uros Villager & Fisherman
Abraham Lujano is 30 years old, as a Uros resident he works with his father in making their island furniture and rafts for tourists to visit the archipelago. He is also a fisherman.
Zacaria - Traditional frond maker
Zacaria is 78, he was born and lives in Yanque, Peru. His parents taught him to weave traditional slingshot with Alpaca. To complete a slingshot it takes two to three days depending on the complexity of the pattern. He always wears a slingshot when he walks in the country because it can be used to defend himself or carry loads if necessary.
Teodosia Marca Willy - Weaver
Teodosia Marca Willy, 67 years old is a weaver on the Taquile Island on Titicaca Lake
Fermin Quispe & Leny Flores - Taquille villagers
Fermin Quispe, 7 and Lenny Flores 12
Bacilio Flores Huatt - Taquile villager
Bacilio Flores Huatt, 62 years old flutist and weaver from Taquile
Alejandro Flores, 66 years old recognized musician and weaver from Taquile
Lucia Roxana Ninatape Cacya - Traditional costume maker
Lucia Roxana Ninatape Cacya is a costume designer, she manufactures Bordados de Yanque.
Her work is inspired by the two pre-Inca local of costume : Collaguas and Cabanas. She find inspiration in the ancient pattern to create her own motifs of flowers and animals of the Chivay valley
Roman Ninataype Suico & Cecilia Cacya Suyco
Roman Ninataype Suico and Cecilia Cacya Suyco, 77 and 70, live in Chivay where they have been producing artisan chicha since 1983. They both started the year of their wedding to produce this corn-based beverage. The development of chicha requires several distinct steps.
• Harvesting corn and barley in their own fields
• Grain cleaning, ventilation and drying
• Barley and corn grains are soaked in water, those left on the surface, bad for Chicha will be given to the animals on the farm. Their lack of flour will prevent them from germinating.
• The submerged portion of the kernels will remain in the water for two days and two nights to initiate germination
• Subsequently the kernels are packaged in air-tight bags and the light for 6-7 days days for germination to continue.
• The grains are ground and cooked in boiling water for 1:30, the whole thing is then filtered by a cotton cloth and then stored in a cold room for 8 days, ( large ceramic vats). After this maturing time the Chicha is good to be consumed. All products used by Roman and Cecilia are natural and from their own cultures.
Emilio Cahuata - Leather worker
Emilio makes leather bags in Arequipa
Arístides Luján Prado & Alvaro Luján Lancho
Father and son, two artists from Nazca
Tobi - Ceramic Master
Tobi is a ceramist specialized in Nazca Art where he lives and works. His father, almost centenarian peasants found a multitude of remains of the Nazca era by working his land. By dint of self-taught research his father ended up recovering the techniques of ancestral ceramics disappeared. Tobi then took over in his father's workshop. He also regularly receives classes of students or people interested in ceramics and explain them the history and manufacturing stages of Nazca ceramics.
Alberto Segura - Ceramic Master
lberto Segura is a precise, curious, obstinate nazca ceramist, who works in close collaboration with several archaeologists specialized in pre-Hispanic civilizations. His copies of ancient ceramics are so realistic that they can easily be regarded as real. By dint of work he found the exact dosages of sand and water clays used by the Nazca and all their working techniques, with extreme precision.
Yrminio X. Hancco M - Copper Embosser
Yrminio X. Hancco M. is a copper embosser artist. Yrminio works in Arequipa where he has been making copper for over 12 years. First a Painter, he migrate to another medium because of the competition aspect of the profession that he didn’t like. He discovers the engraving on copper and suddenly felt in love with it. his first desire is to dust off this art by developing images more in tune with the country rather than being content with the images usually treated in this art. A work can take him 5 to 20 days of consecutive work depending on the size.
Inka Espipeña Family • Hairless Peruvian dogs breeders
Brick manufacturers of Pinipampa
Reyna Ortiz & John Elvis
Reyna Ortiz, 27, learned how to make traditional tiles with her uncle when she was 10 years old. She now teaches her 9-year-old son John Elvis. The village of Pinipampa is located few kilometers away from Cuzco, the local economy is maintained exclusively through the manufacture of tiles and clay bricks. All the roofs of Cuzco are covered with tiles coming from Pinipampa.
Assumption Signa Viuda de Visa - Glass worker
Assumption Signa Viuda inherit her husband’s stall, located inside a Parking lot. Assumption welcomes local customers who want to recycle their glass bottles. She works without a machine tool, entirely by hand, and transforms six bottles of beer into a set of six glasses, a bottle of wine in a candle holder, a magnum in a vase, etc. His precarious situation does not prevent her from having a smart and communicative smile, and a very spontaneous kindness.
Lucia Quispe lives in Huacachina, an oasis close to Ika. She works at the municipal library and also develops a remarkable work as an illustrator. His biggest inspiration: Matisse.
Olivia - Artist
Olivia is a Multidisciplinary artist from Nazca In addition to perpetuating the mysterious art of Quipus ( pre-Hispanic registers whose real meanings are kept by a few rare shamans and which were almost eradicated by the Spanish). She painted and registered all the plants and flowers of the Nazca region. She compiled all her watercolors in a book. Her work help to classify an extended area of Nazca nature as Reserva Natural
Julio Tueros - Caballo de Passo Breeder
Julio Tueros is a Caballo de Paso breeder, he works in a large ascienda in the region of Ica. Not only he raise the horses, Julio also rides and produces a trio dancing with his horse and a dancer.