The traditional dances of Cusco

dances cuzco

Many tourists head to the Imperial city to participate in their festivities. For this reason, we decided to elaborate an article about the main traditional dances of Cusco. Most of these dances are characterized by having a strong pre-Hispanic influence, a colorful costume and a tradition that seeks to keep alive among tourists and residents.

The Dance of the Negritos 

This dance is done in honor of the Easter and Christmas because at the time of the Viceroyalty were given freedom to the slaves from December 24 to January 6. The slaves in token of gratitude visited the births of the most luxurious houses. Such a tradition gained more strength since December 13, 1854, when President Ramón Castilla gave them freedom.

The Ampay Carnival Dance

The encounter between the Spanish conquistadors and the inhabitants of ancient Peru provoked the birth of more than 1400 musical genres. The Carnival of the Ampay is a dance that originated in the province of Calca, Cusco. The verses of said Huayno Cusquenian are in Quechua and are framed with wildflowers in order to give it a more festive and traditional touch.

The dance of the Capac Chuncho

The costumes have symbols of the pre-Hispanic culture. This dance is performed on behalf of the Native warriors of Kosñipata, a locality located in the jungle region. The tradition is that the Chunchu is the favorite dancer of the Virgin of Carmen. For this reason, their dancers act as guardians, accompanied throughout the festivities.

The Dance of the Ukuku

Legend has it that Ukuku was a huge bear who kidnapped and impregnated a woman in the village. She was crying telling her son that she wanted to flee from the place where she was locked up. In the dance of the Ukuku there are no groups, there is only one dancer dressed in a suit similar to the skin of a bear and a similar mask. That accompanies the troupes with cheerful dance steps.

Traders ‘ dance, Capac Colla

Collasuyo was the trader of the Antiplane who came to the antigovernment during the holidays to exchange their products. In the dance of the traders, Capac Colla, there are songs in which commemorate this period, narrating the sacrifices that were made to greet the Virgin of Carmen, the farewell and the prayers with which it is asked to be alive during the next year.

The goldfinches

This dance is characterized by a mischievous and elegant touch. Both men and women flirt with the beat of music. They say singing that there are many women as the intended while they respond that there is no lack of romantic proposals. This dance allows us to appreciate the passion that people feel for that special person and the mischievousness of rejecting those who ignore them.


The dance is headed by the Apulli, which is the main authority of the town of Canchis. Love and offering are represented by two young people, who pay homage to Mother Earth or Pacha Mama. In addition, the dance is characterized by making figures such as Haykuy, Napaykuy, braided, Warak’a Tusuy, P’asña Tusuy, Tawna Tusuy, Qollana Tusuy and Lluqsiy and Pascal.

Sara Pillu

The traditional dance of Cusco means “flower or corn hair”. During this dance, the males fight with the help of their warakas or slings with the purpose of thanking the Pachamama for the excellent maize production that was given in the region. Such a party was investigated in 1988 by Víctor Vásquez Vera, a renowned Jesuit brother.

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