Ancient Peruvian Peoples
My plan for the day was to see the most extensive museum collection in Lima
, Museo de la Nacion. It's housed in a former government building a bit off the beaten path but my guidebook said it was worth it. I did enjoy the collection although the way it was arranged was a bit difficult to navigate. You could tell that the building wasn't originally a museum. One of the fascinating things I saw was the tomb of a Lord of a city in northern Peru from many centuries ago. He was the ruler of the city and when he died (young), his wife, concubine, children, head general and a guardian of the tomb were dispatched to be buried with him. Grisly but fascinating.
When I go north I'll see the city and excavations. A highlight for me was less the antiquities, which I did find interesting, but the photographic exhibition on the long guerilla war of the Communist group Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) and Tupac Amaru. The photographs told the tragic story better than a book could have but by the end I was overwhelmed with sadness at the huge loss of life and bitter struggle. The Sendero Luminoso was led by a former professor named Guzman from the university of Ayecucho, a city in the mountains to the southeast of Lima. Part of the tragedy was that the war between the terrorist group and the national armed forces and civil guard caused the loss of life of so many indigenous peoples in the area. Because the terrorists liked to blend in with the local populations, the army often killed innocent people in their reprisals.
Tomb of the Lord of Sipan
The exhibit was very even-handed in their treatment of the conflict and didn't assign 100% of the blame to either side, but showed how confusing it often was to try to tell who was to blame. In my opinion, the way the terrorists operated made them more blameworthy, by using the local population as human shields. In the end, these peoples took it upon themselves to arm themselves and fight the terrorists as well. In the beginning, they were sympathetic to the cause, but after seeing so much senseless bloodshed and treachery from the Sendero, they lost faith that they were really trying to help the poor and disenfranchised. It's the same story throughout modern history with the false ideals of the Maoists and Communists.
Much sobered by the experience I went home and then was invited to dinner by Sandra.
On the way I picked up a torte and a bottle of Peruvian wine. I forgot to mention in my last blog about the first time I went to visit her and on the way gave the taxi driver payment with (what I thought was) a 10 soles coin. A bit later he held it up and said, "so, is this the money you use in the US?..You use Mexican money in the US?" I didn't understand him. It turns out I had given him a Mexican 10 peso coin! I wanted to laugh but that wouldn't have helped my cause with the now suspicious and angry taxi driver! In the end, I apologized and explained that I had just been in Mexico and the money got mixed up with my Peruvian coins. Anyway, we talked and had wine and some chicken with rice and a delicious but very simple salad. I was starving and the food tasted marvelous. Sandra's mom took Flavia, Sandra's daughter, to bed. And Sandra played some American songs on her computer and I sang along...Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and such. It was so much fun to sing those songs that I know so well and even though I couldn't sing loudly, I felt great and a bit less homesick at that moment.
Lima Sights & Attractions review
The huge collection of artifacts from Pre-Columbian cultures is housed in a former government ministry building and as far as museum design goes it's … read entire review