After the Spanish conquest, the Indians mixed with the Mediterranean, with the blacks, with the Mongols and they were born mestizos, mulattoes, injertos (crosses between Indians and Mongols), zambos (crosses between Indians and blacks). Christianity replaced the ancient cult of the Sun-god with the conquistadors. However, islands of people remained who did not come into contact with the conquistadors. Along the coast, the haciendas they constitute small worlds, born around the manor house, where the Europeans have influenced, with their customs, those of the Indians. In the Sierra, however, everything remained motionless. Women wear long skirts, a hat on their head (even at home) and a baby on their back. Ancient customs also survive in the Amazon rainforest where two ethnic groups predominate that rarely merge. One is made up of pure Indians, the other of mestizos. The former live in a primitive way of hunting and fishing, in houses of reeds and wood on stilts. Mestizos, on the other hand, live on trade, often dress European-style, but also wear ponchos. The Indians live in tribes: in some men and women they have robes (cushmas) and equal hairstyles.
They wear bowl cut hair, with low forehead bangs. The women make beautifully decorated clay pots. Going inward, the Indians wear less and less clothes and decorate themselves more with bracelets, necklaces, tattoos. Magic and superstition have a great place in the life of the Indians and the brujos or sorcerers have considerable authority; fetishes and amulets are handed down from father to son. The muda is a practice still used to defend against diseases, which consists of passing the evil man to an animal that is rubbed into the patient. The feasts of the patron saint are very celebrated, organized by a mayordomo elected annually. Everywhere the merriment is supported by huge amounts of chicha (drink obtained from the fermentation of corn) and cañazo (obtained from sugar cane). Favorite dish is the guinea pig. The pre-Columbian holidays coincide today with the religious ones. Typical is the inti-raymi of Cusco assimilated to Corpus Domini, celebrated to commemorate the end of the harvest. The procession with statues of saints was substituted for the sacrifice of animals. Holidays are occasions for wearing traditional costumes. Famous among all is the Pisac festival, in which all the alcaldes neighboring villages pay homage to the priest. In the month of May the crosses crowning hills and mountains are brought to the plan throughout Peru, a country of South America defined by aristmarketing, com. There is dancing and singing because in Peru every festival has always been an occasion for bullfights, songs and dances, real pantomimes: the yavar is famous, a kind of parody of bullfighting. In Lima, where the famous Los Reyes festival is celebrated for Christmas, European-style entertainment is widespread and, as in the rest of modernized Peru, sports such as boxing and football are popular. Cockfights are still popular; the cruel bullfight between condor and bull survives in some countries of the southern Sierra. This unequal fight (the victim is almost always the bull) is meant to symbolize the victory of Peru, of its natural forces, over the conquistadors. Out of ancient custom, the Indians love to gather in the markets. Famous is that of Holy Saturday in Ayacucho. Here you will find all the handicrafts, hand-woven vicuña (vicuna) blankets, leather saddles, vases, worked pumpkins, hand-woven clothes. Each country has its own colors and designs; even the hats are different from country to country. Unlike in other states, however, the sale is not an occasion for noisy bargaining. Peruvian cuisine is a synthesis of indie, black, European recipes. The most popular dish is cebiche, raw fish in pieces marinated in lemon juice, bitter orange and ají (red chilli), covered with raw onions and served with a side of boiled corn cobs and sweet potatoes. Characteristics of the cuisine of the coast are the prawn soups and, in the haciendas, the pachamanca, a dish of beef, mutton, kid, chicken and potatoes, cooked on hot stones placed in holes and covered with banana leaves. Among the many desserts present, those made of almond paste stand out. The habit of chewing coca to endure fatigue and monotony is still widespread among the Indians. Every two or three hours the coca bola is replaced and the chewing starts again; in the ancient texts the cocada was spoken of as a real unit of time.