Hattun Q'eros


See introduction to Q'eros video here...
in the Peruvian Andes
Welcome to the Q´eros Community Video Project. This site was created by Mana Studios and is in the process of being transferred to the direction of members of the Q’eros community.

Introduction to the Community of Q'eros

The Community of Q'eros is located on the Eastern side of the snowcapped Vilcanota range of the Peruvian Andes. Inhabiting a diverse territory that stretches from heights or “punas” located more than 5000 meters above sea level down to 1400 meters in the Amazonian jungle, the Q'eros’ land falls under the jurisdiction of the province of Paucartambo, district of the same name, and department of Cusco, Peru.

The name Q'eros refers to the eight Ayllus (States) that formed different haciendas in the Paucartambo region up until the 1950’s. There are currently five communities that belong to the Association of Communities of the Q´eros Nation: Hatun Q' ero, Q' ero Totorani, Japu, Quico and Marcachea. The population of these communities totals 2,139 inhabitants.

The Q' eros, more than most indigenous communities in Peru, have maintained cultural traditions surviving from the pre-Hispanic era. Ranging from agricultural to medical to spiritual, these customs reflect the community’s Andean belief system and its close connection to the Earth and surrounding mountains. The community’s practice of these traditions has earned it the distinction of being the last existing Incan Ayllu.

Q’eros community elders attribute the community’s survival of the Spanish conquest to the protection of their sacred mountains, the Apus, and the community continues to maintain its identity and traditions despite the increasing reach of globalization. The Q’eros describe their approach to development as “adaptation-resistance”: strategically assimilating new developments that are useful, while conserving the traditional by adapting it to the present. The impending completion of two highways into the Q’eros’ land will soon allow unprecedented access between the community and the outside world, bringing many benefits but also threats of mining, cultural loss, and potentially destructive tourism exploitation.

In the spirit of “adaptation-resistance”, the Q’eros Video Project is creating capacity for the community to independently produce its own digital media. In addition to improving the community’s ability to determine the direction of its development, the technical knowledge, professional video equipment, and connections to industry resources presented through the Q’eros Video Project enables community members to preserve their traditional knowledge and rich cultural resources through video documentation. We invite you to explore our progress toward these goals and welcome your inquiries and support.