Peru or Bust, one couple's journey to represent USA abroad and aid in ways small and large.

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I am Majordomo of Molinopampa

with 3 comments

Well, one of a group of 10 or 12 people in town that will help put on the new year’s festivities at the end of 2013.  Let me explain… During new years around Peru (and into February) the communities around the mountains conduct festivals called Yunsa (or Yunza)…within the jungle regions it’s called Umisha (or Humisha), and on the coast it’s known as Cortamonte.  A band is hired to play as a large, long tree is brought to the festival grounds.  Balloons and toys are tied to the branches of the tree and it’s raised to a vertical position as members of the community take drinks and dance around it.  With a ceremonial hatchet, party-goes take turns taking chops at the tree until it comes crashing down within the crowd and kids go scrambling for the toys.  The smaller tree is re-raised to vertical and the process repeats itself until the ‘tree’ is too short to chop down.  Those that take the last chop before the tree falls (such as myself) get a glass of beer dumped on their head and are cheered like they made a game winning 3-pointer.  Also it’s because the Galbavy duo and the other 10 folks are then designated the Majordomos for the following year.  Majordomos are the ones who essentially pay for the band and put on the festival…probably also make alot of bread, chicha, and provide cajas of beer.  Heard also about inviting people to the house and doing up some meals, but this will be a learning experience.  Just this morning we picked up bags of bananas, mangoes and sweet rolls that last years majordomos were treating.   There’s some talk of the events online as well…

Explanation (in Spanish) from

Yunza Pictures and otro explanation (in Spanish)

Only English summary from

Maybe this link may work from

Went to the Yunsa in Eñara as well, here’s a clip:

And when the tree came down..

And when the tree came down..

Festive Molinopampa neighbors giving whacks at the tree..

Festive Molinopampa neighbors giving whacks at the tree..

We’ll see.


Written by galbavy

January 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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3 Responses

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  1. Interesting custom. Sounds like fun.


    January 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm

  2. […] ourselves and the US government.  Nonetheless, much like welcoming in of the new year last year, which you can read about HERE; the town was filled with scarecrows (or dolls, effigies) to burn at midnight at the street […]

  3. […] of activities. And when it comes time to have another party where you dance around the yunsa tree (SEE post around this time last year); we know what to expect but it’s always a good […]

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