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City in southern Peru: cradle of Afro-Peruvian art

Updated on December 9, 2012
Cañete - Perú - Black art capital and cradle
Cañete - Perú - Black art capital and cradle | Source
Peruvian black rhythm
Peruvian black rhythm | Source
Hands on African drum
Hands on African drum | Source
Zamba Mulató
Zamba Mulató | Source

At first I thought I had found the perfect topic for a hub, but my research soon showed me how wrong I was! I intended to write about Cañete, a town just south of Lima-Peru, where I was born. Unknown to me though, one could also find Cañete in Chile, where they also have other names Peruvians consider their own, like PIsco, and all over Spain too! So I found the name in Spanish places like Córdoba, Castilla, La Mancha, Aragón, south in Málaga and north in Barcelona! But that was not all, I also found Cañete in the United Kingdom, of all places!

I remember when I was a young girl living in Lima, where we had a maid at home, whose name was Elsa and she came from the Cañete - Chincha area. I can remember she was very supportive of me and did not mind when I used my American grandmother’s recipe book, for my baking efforts. Even now, many years later, I can still see my handwriting (in Spanish), next to the ingredients for Oatmeal Hermits, one of my favorite biscuit recipe, obviously!

San Vicente de Cañete, better known as Cañete, is a town on the central coast of Peru, near the river of the same name and 144 km south from the capital Lima. The area is known as the Cuna del Arte Negro, or Cradle of Afro-Peruvian Art, as one can see from their logo.

The Cañete Valley is very productive and one can find cotton and vineyards there, as well as pisco producing areas. The fast flowing Cañete River, on the other hand, offers rapids, which are good for kayaking and rafting. The waters of that river are also supposed to have amazing colours and be good for trout fishing.

Just like in slavery times, workers tend fields.
Just like in slavery times, workers tend fields. | Source
Cotton in bloom with yellow flowers
Cotton in bloom with yellow flowers
Zúñiga church destroyed by earthquake.
Zúñiga church destroyed by earthquake.
Small park in Zúñiga
Small park in Zúñiga

Peru Negro dance : El Alcatraz

This a typical Peru Negro dance. Notice the predominant red and while in the dancers costumes, as they are the colors of the Peruvian flag. The black slaves left many traces in the agriculture of the XVIII century and later the Chinese and Japanese also left many marks in the history of Cañete. This mixture of cultures increased its folklore and customs that are evidenced in its current expressions of art, music and dance.

Peru Negro art in Cañete, Peru

In this video you will see some of the typical Afro Peruvian instruments, like the cajón, which is a kind of box musicians sit on and use to give rhythm and beat to the music.

Fertile Cañete Valley

In addition to cotton there are also vineyards for wine and pisco brandy in this valley.

Cañete beach logo: Cerro Azul (Blue Hill)

This nostalgic sunset on the right took place in winter and Cañete is sometimes also called the reverie port.

It is with much pride that people, young and old, speak of their city and its surroundings, and places like Pucarán and Zúñiga. Valley of the eternal spring and the radiant sun is what they call they city too.

"This was the church, so many memories", people say when they see their church.


And now for having some fun: riding, quad biking, trekking, rock climbing, canoeing and rafting!

Nostalgic sunset in Cerro Azul


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