A trip to the Sacred Waters

The Maestro lives in a tiny hamlet of mud roads, pigsties, and cattle pastures high in the Andes of northern Peru. I had begun the journey to his house by catching a bus from the costal city of Piura to the isolated provincial capital of Huancabamba.The reputation of Huancabamba known as a particularly powerful shamanic center, is due in large part from the nearby Huaringas, a series of 14 high Andean lakes that are accessible only by foot, horse, or mule.

In the Huancabamba area, every Maestro worth his reputation will take his clients to the lakes for a healing bath.

I followed on my trip Agustin Chasquero Zurita, Maestro de Maestros; it took about 3 hours to reach an elevation of 13.000 feet where the sacred Lake Shimbe is located, from the town of Salalà the journey is only by foot, horse, or mule.This pictures depict the healing ceremony that took place at the sacred lake Shimbe. Patients bathe into the sacred waters of this lake before attending the Mesada. The Shamanic ecstasy is induced by snorting tobacco juice, considered curative.

Mamiya 7 & Canon 3 \ exposing Kodak Tri-X 120 & Kodak Tri-X 35 the pictures in this collection are scans from original fiber based prints.