In all Peru, especially in Andean towns, All Saints festivity and the Day of the Dead are celebrated between November 1 and 2.
In Cusco this is celebrated in a different way as a part of tradition and identity of Cusco’s citizens who go to cemeteries and taste good cooked dishes and drinks. It is a way to remember and tribute those who left us.
One of these delights is the T’anta Wawa (baby bread, in Spanish “Panes Bebé”) which in the Andean tradition has a very important meaning at the moment of do offerings to dead people.
According to historian Martin Romero, the offerings made to dead people with breads have its origin in Egyptian culture, Mesopotamia and Spain. Later, it arrived to Peru between 1570 and 1650, stage in which the Catholic religion imposes its religious doctrine on Andean and Inca culture.
But for Cusco’s anthropologists, more over the influence of old continent, this tradition is rooted in the Andes, especially in Cusco because for the Andean culture the death is the continuation of life, and a way to be related with dead people is through offerings. In this sense, the T´anta Wawa is one of the offerings that still remain until now.
According to anthropologist Rossano Calvo Calvo: “The T’anta Wawa symbolizes the origin, the being who born and the tasting which is done of all it, in that moment, the decline is represented”.
For his part, the anthropologist Danilo Pallardel Moscoso states: “Inca and Spanish traditions were syncretized, that is the reason why the Wawas keep their Andean dresses but they are required to be baptized. Death in the Andes means continuity, there is no resurrection as in the Catholic Church”.
And it is from this imposition that the Wawas baptism starts. Calvo anthropologist states that “not for nothing the T´anta Wawas baptism were done around that dates at the middle of a parody where parents eat the baby breads after the authorization of a man characterizing a priest who throws holy water to the new daughter”.
Nowadays, the T’anta Wawas are a type of dolls made from dough, adorned with “particular faces or little masks”, and decorated with small sweetie candies that give authentic beauty. These pieces of art are the reason for a social celebration where fathers and godfathers give to sons, nephews and friends such products as an expression of affection and friendship. Big festivities are taken place in Cusco thank to this celebration so that squares like San Francisco, Tupac Amaru, Santiago, San Sebastian and San Jeronimo become full of bakers businessmen and residents of the area.
The T’anta Wawas are offered in different shapes and sizes; they could be found representing the shape of dolls, horses, cusqueños twins with local distinctive ornaments and others. They have prices ranging from 5 to 50 Peruvian soles according to the size and ornamentation.
On these dates T’anta Wawa is not the only thing you can find, it can be find also: pasty, maicillos (a sort of cookie made of maize), suspiros cusqueños, rolls and the roasted suckling pig which we will discuss another time.
Torre Dorada Hotel offers a daily delicious breakfast for the enjoyment of our guests. Don´t wait more, come to enjoy of our festivities.