Beauty Contest in the Peruvian Rainforests.

bIn this June 23, 2015 photo, Yeni Casiano Barboza, 15, from the Ashaninka Indian community, Natividad, poses for a photo while waiting to compete in the annual beauty contest, in the Otari Nativo village, Pichari, Peru.
For Ashaninka men, a woman’s beauty is determined in part by her hair, her sense of humor, and whether she can cook a tasty cassava dish, according to some community members.
Gathered in the middle of the Amazon forest, the participants in the beauty contest wear the simple brown dresses of the Ashaninka indigenous woman, their faces dotted in a traditional design with a red dye extracted from a spice called achiote.
“The little red dots are my happiness,” said Beysi Anaya, a 17-year-old who won last month’s competition after traveling three hours by car from her native valley community of Sampantuari. She was crowned with a small straw hat featuring a long red feather.
It was the fifth beauty contest held among annual festivities marking the founding of the Ashaninka community of Otari Nativo, which is in a valley near the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers in the world’s largest coca-growing region.
The Ashaninka people number in the tens of thousands and live mostly in the rainforests of Peru.
aIn this June 23, 2015 photo, Ashaninka Indian school children parade with torches during festivities celebrating the 44th anniversary of their village, in Otari Nativo, Pichari, Peru.
The village is located in a valley near the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers in the world’s largest coca growing region.
In addition to the standard Ashaninka dress, the contestants also showed off a shorter, midriff-baring summer version that can be used for swimming. Multiple strands of colored beads crisscrossed their chest like bandoliers.
Other activities included an archery competition for men and women as well as a contest for drinking the fermented juice of the cassava root.
The community’s men smoked large amounts of meat for festival-goers to eat.
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For Ashaninka men, a woman’s beauty is determined in part by her hair — the longer, the better — and whether she can cook a tasty cassava dish, said community member and translator Marishori Samaniego.
A sense of humor is also important in determining attractiveness, said psychologist Leslie Villapolo, who has worked with the Ashaninka.
via AP PHOTOS: Indigenous festival in Peruvian rainforest – Houston Chronicle.

Ancient Incan Rings of Moray.

imageContributor: leiris
Grouped together in Peru’s lush Cuzco region, the ringed Incan ruins known as Moray have long been a mystery, but it is looking more and more likely that the nested stone rings may have been part of a large-scale agricultural experiment.
Unlike a number of the elaborate metropolises and statuary left behind by the Incan people, the rings at Moray are relatively simple but may have actually been an ingenious series of test beds.
Descending in grass-covered, terraced rings, these rings of rings vary in size, with the largest ending in a depth of 30 meters (98 feet) deep and 220 meters (722 feet) wide.
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Studies have shown that many of the terraces contain soil that must have been imported from other parts of the region.
The temperature at the top of the pits varies from that at the bottom by as much as 15ºC, creating a series of micro-climates that — not coincidentally — match many of the varied conditions across the Incan empire, leading to the conclusion that the rings were used as a test bed to see what crops could grow where.
Edited by: SkareMedia (Author), Rachel (Admin), oriana (Admin), EricGrundhauser (Admin)
via Moray | Atlas Obscura.

Machu Picchu with my Friend.

admiring-machu-picchu-with-a-llama

In this candid capture we see reddit user LizaThornberry admiring a breathtaking view of Machu Picchu when a llama suddenly appeared and decided to join her.
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level in Peru.
The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest.
Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
In 2007 it was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and is Peru’s most visited tourist attraction.
Photograph by Liza Thornberry on reddit.
via Picture of the Day: Admiring Machu Picchu with a Friend «TwistedSifter.

The Gocta Waterfall.

In 2005, German economist Stefan Ziemendorff, who was working on a wastewater project in Peru, took a break from his work to go for a hike in Peru’s Utcabamba valley in search of one of the region’s abundant pre-Incan ruins.
When he crossed into a blind ravine, he spied something unexpected: a towering, two-tiered waterfall in the distance that hadn’t appeared on any map.
The following March, after he had returned to the site with measuring equipment, Ziemendorff held a press conference to declare to the public that he had discovered the third-tallest waterfall in the world.
The two tiers combined, the water plummets 2,531 feet, the height of well over two Eiffel Towers.
Of course, Ziemendorff’s “discovery” wasn’t actually a discovery at all.

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The residents of Cocachimba had known about the waterfall since the 1950s. Their town was located practically right beneath it.
They knew it as “Gocta,” after the sound made by howler monkeys in the region.
But they had mostly avoided the towering waterfall due to superstitions surrounding it.
The natural wonder simply blended into the background of their daily life.
Read on via Gocta Waterfall – Cocachimba, Peru | Atlas Obscura

The Inca Rivers Trek.

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Image Credit: Justin Walker
by Justin Walker and Lauren Smith
FOR THOSE KEEN to avoid the crowds of the Inca Trail, while still enjoying some amazing Inca ruins and Peruvian history and culture, the nine-day Inca Rivers trek is a must-do.
Starting at a heady 2600m at Cachora, the track soon heads further up – and then down; each day you can expect to ascend and then descend anywhere from 500 to 1000m in altitude – over the course of the nine days, before reaching the final destination of Macchu Picchu.
The track’s final destination is, of course, well worth the nine days’ effort, but it is the daily highlights of this trek that make it a worthy Top 10 inclusion.
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Most notably, on the third day, hikers reach the ruins of Choquequirao, (see above) estimated to be only 30 per cent uncovered by archaeologists but, once fully cleared, it is claimed this site will be both more complete and larger than Macchu Picchu itself.
Other highlights over the nine days include first descending, then crossing and ascending, two massive river valleys – the Apurimac and the Rio Blanco, where you can camp by the river.
The condor is prevalent in these high mountains so there’s a good chance of spotting both juveniles and adults soaring above on the thermal air currents. The reclusive spectacled bear makes its home here in the high peaks as well, as do jaguar at the lower elevations.
Due to its proximity to the equator, even at high altitudes (the trek reaches a high point of 4660m), the track is often shrouded in lush jungle and rainforest.
The campsites along the way are near very small villages/settlements, and you’ll also become used to seeing Inca stonework daily along the track on each day.
via Inca Rivers Trek Peru – Australian Geographic.
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