Last year I lost several photos, hundreds, thousands perhaps. It doesn’t matter, I’ve my memories and what I lived is more important. Despite that it was a great relieve that not everything was lost. Indeed I copied before the end some of the photographs, so I think these photographs are survivors :-) I took hundreds of photos in Sillustani but now I have just less of fifty. I used the Olympus SP-500uz a bridge camera with a little sensor, that was before filters, nd grads, or even a tripod, but the place is so beautiful that it’s hard to not take a beautiful photograph.
The one I choose as first image is representative of Sillustani. Sillustani is an old cemetery used for the noble people, qhapaqs for example. But you have to take into account that in our world or culture the dead are not dead, they live, it’s just another way of life: they still have their family and their properties. I am not sure but probably their bodies were in home and the uta Amaya (what is called improperly chullpa) is just a symbol.
Is for that reason that I entitled the image with king Arthur, in a certain way these place, this singular cemetery, is the memorial for kings (qhapaqs) or nobles or wealthy people, that actually aren’t dead, just living another live. Dreaming.
Sillustani is half way between my city, Juliaca, and the capital of the region, Puno. You have to take a taxi to Sillustani that is preceded by Atuncolla. An old town I think considering the architecture.
Sillustani has a view over the Umayo Lagoon. The water has a special meaning, and it’s venerated, it multiply the sacred character of Sillustani. Probably it was the pacarina of the nobles (pacarina is a special place with a lagoon, lake, mountain, or hill that it’s bonded with you the same way a grandfather with his grandchild)
The Road toward Sillustani:
You have to buy a ticket and that’s all, just walk the road and see with open eyes and hear the silence. Sillustani is a special place. I don’t like to take photographs to cemeteries, but Sillustani is something more than a cemetery, it’s a machine with other functions, with other meanings. There is a mystery and we don’t remember it yet.
And that was a bit of my visit to Sillustani. You cannot see it in the photographs but the towers are truly giants. They were built with the nature in mind to the scale, but they don’t look threatening, a design with soft curves help to see them instead friendly. As I said the death in Perú has a meaning totally different from what the Spanish invaders believed. We have to care our dear relatives even in the grave because they still deserve our affection and respect.
It was always like this; and always will be like this.