02 October 2011

Cross-dressing

Two of the three crosses at Christo Blanco
Since I first arrived here in Peru, I’ve been taking photos of the elaborately dressed crosses found outside most churches but when I googled the subject today, in preparation for writing about it, all I got was references to transvestism and the church’s attitude to it.

The cloths draping the crosses are beautifully decorated, with rich embroidery and sumptuous colours. I thought the colours might be liturgical colours – violet or purple for the penitential season of Lent, white for Christmas and various feast days, red for Palm Sunday, Good Friday,etc – but here the same draperies often stay on the crosses for weeks and bear no relation to the Catholic Liturgy.

So, at the moment, I’m none the wiser about the meaning of the colours, nor, in fact, do I really understand the reason for dressing the crosses in the first place. Enlightenment welcomed!

Outside the cathedral in Puno
At Pukara



















In Recoleta, a street near where I live here in Cusco
One of the three crosses outside the
San Francisco church, in Cusco
Another of the San Francisco crosses





















Outside Santo Domingo, in Cusco

At Pisac
At San Blas, in Cusco