Peruvian Effigy

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Figures suspended from a tree in Cusco, Peru Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Figures suspended from a tree in Cusco, Peru
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

A little disconcerting to this North American visitor are the colorful effigies hanging from trees and lampposts in southern Peru. The Brawny Sherpa and I are in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu at the end of February, when carnival apparently extends beyond Mardi Gras.

The dolls, I am told, are part of the celebration and are made to look like the most popular people in town—the best sportsman, the prettiest woman. I am not entirely clear on their purpose or for how long they hang. I clearly need more time in Peru, more books on Peru, more knowledge.

—Lori Tripoli

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