Images of Peru

Photographs of travels in Peru in 1981, 2006 and 2007

By Barry D. Kass

(click on pictures to enlarge)


The following photographs correspond to the SUNY Orange Photo Exhibit, "Images of Peru", which will be on display in the Orange Hall Art Gallery from Sept. 28 through October 29. The exhibit is part of the "Latin American Initiative" at the college, sponsored by the Global Studies Department. In 1981, 2006, and 2007, I organized and led travel-study groups for SUNY Orange to Peru, South America. Students and others involved in international seminar-field studies programs such as this one gain immeasurable educational value from their first-hand learning experiences in another culture and geographical region, as the following photographs will illustrate.

Wall mural, Cusco, Andes Mts. This wall mural vividly displays images of the Inca civilization and the power of the supreme Inca, the ruler of the state. Cusco was the capital city of the Inca Empire, and was known to them as Tahuantinsuyo, the place where the four corners of the world joined together.

Barry Kass, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, hiking the Inca Trail in 2006.

Inca ruins of Winay Wayna, along the Inca trail near Machu Picchu. Typical agricultural terraces, used primarily for potatos and maize, are evident.

Classic view of Machu Picchu from Intipunku, the sun gate. The Inca city, never discovered by the Spanish conquistadores, was discovered to the outside world in 1911 by the explorer Hiram Bingham.

View of Machu Picchu looking towards the sun gate. Note the stone quarry in the foreground.

The sacred Intihuatana, the 'hitching post of the sun" at Machu Picchu. The Incas worshipped above all Viracocha, the omnipresent primal god, symbolized by the sun, who had to be tied to this post in order to insure his return to the sky each morning, after his absence during the night.

This is a view of the Sun Temple at Machu Picchu. The ability of the Incas to construct massive buildings using huge stones fit together with amazing precision is simply unbelievable, unless seen firsthand for oneself on a personal journey in the Andes.

A llama grazing at Machu Picchu. Llamas were one of the few domesticated animals from South America, and were basically small camels used by the Andean people to carry small loads, and for occasional religious sacrifices.
Photo by Dan Kass

There are many monumental Inca sites along the Vilcabamba and Urubamba valleys in the Andes near the city of Cusco, which was the ancient center of the Inca Empire. This photo is of the site of Ollantaytambo, with its famous megalithic stones as pictured above.