Introduction to the village of Lamas
Lamas is a town of colours, and a land of cocoa and coffee. It is also recognised as the folkloric capital of the San Martin region. This is by virtue of its significant contribution to national and regional history for preserving their ancestral traditions and cultural elements since colonial times. It is located in the district and province of Lamas in the San Martin region, 30 minutes from the city of Tarapoto, at an altitude of 814 meters above sea level, with a minimum temperature of 18°C and a maximum of 31°C. Lamas sits on a mountain, which is composed of three clearly distinguished plateaus. For this reason, during his visit, the researcher and geographer Antonio Raimondi called it "The city of the three natural plateaus". Lamas has two sectors, on the one hand, the lower zone where the native community is located and the upper zone where the mestizo population is to be found.
Within Lamas there is the Kechwa Native Community, El Wayku, which still preserves their ancestral customs intact, as well as their language (Quechua) and clothing. The rituals for falling in love, marriage and the first haircut stand out. It should be noted that the knowledge, wisdom and practices of the Kechwa people of Lamas associated with the production of ceramics have been recognised as National Cultural Heritage by the Ministry of Culture. That is why the community associates its cultural heritage to two important aspects:
- Pottery, made by women who make utensils for daily life and agricultural work, made with an ancestral process and with inputs from the area.
- The textile art, with ancestral technique and iconography expressed in designs of "chumbes". These are thin waistbands used by women to hold the baskets to pick cotton and men as a belt to hold their pants. They also make bags, purses, cell phone holders and others handy products and are produced under the collective brand "Warmi Awadora" or weaver woman.
That is why Lamas attributes its main sources of income to agriculture, handicrafts and tourism; currently, it has 366 years of history contributing to our country with its folklore, culture, tourist attractions and ancestral knowledge and has a festive calendar of national and international roots.
Lamas, the "Folkloric Capital of the San Martin region" is the only Amazonian town of Andean origin, keeping alive its ancestral culture. This is expressed in dances, rituals, clothing, festivals, language, architecture and gastronomy.
Within the Kechwa El Wayku Native Community, the typical clothing of men and women stands out. The men are characterized by wearing: rolled up black pants, a tuft, tacshacotón, white bividi, chumbes, shacapas and multicolored scarves. The women wear a black skirt, petticoat, white blouse with Chanca decorations, combs, necklaces, and multicolored scarves. Another aspect that attracts attention are the red dots on the cheekbones of the women's faces, which depend on their sentimental situation, as well as the ritual of falling in love, marriage and the first haircut. The local beliefs and superstitions are still being applied in the design of the houses, as is the case of the facades without windows. The Lamistas believe that evil spirits pass through the streets of the community during the night and try to enter the houses through the windows in the form of wind, for this reason the houses lack windows.
Top tips for your stay in Lamas
Lamas is one of the quietest, safest and most beautiful cities that can be found in the San Martin region.
It is advisable to bring a hat, sunscreen and a light coat, since being very close to the Cordillera Azul its temperature tends to go up and down. Comfortable shoes will be necessary to walk around the city and its surroundings.
Traditional drinks are undoubtedly an important product that should be tasted and be seen as part of the tourist experience. The Indanachado is a typical drink of the area. For the chocolate or coffee lovers we know you will need to keep space in your luggage to take a treat home with you, after all Lamas is known as the land of cocoa and coffee.
The tourist tours offered by travel agencies and tourism are varied, you could take the tourist route: Lamas, Barrio Kechwa Nativo El Wayku, Museo los Chankas and/or tours Lamas, Plaza de Armas de Lamas, Mirador Lamas, the Ethnic Museum and the Castillo de Lamas. It is also recommended to visit the Oro Verde S.A.C. Industrial Cooperative, which currently offers tours of its farms and production plants, as well as coffee tasting through different preparation methods in its main store in the Lamas Main Square.