Ollantaytambo is where most trekkers set off on their four day hike to Machu Picchu.
When we planned to go to Peru, I never in a million years would have considered I’d be involved in a special ceremony in a small Quechua village just near here. In Quechuan culture, the baby hair cutting ceremony goes back to Incan times, its similar to perhaps a christening or naming ceremony.
Our tour leader said this wasn’t a normal activity on the tour when he took us to visit the village and took gifts of fruit. We were asked to partake in a simple meal (chicken and potatoes) and then led into a special room (albeit very rustic to our western eyes) where a young woman from the village proudly allowed us crazy foreigners to hack off her baby’s beautiful locks of black hair, all the while beaming in delight.
Small donations of money were made in honour of the child, if nothing else, we felt we needed to cover the cost of the small meal provided, which to communities like this, would have been at a considerable expense.
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