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Peru’s Pucara bull exhibit hits Istanbul for Turkish centennial

ISTANBUL : As part of the centennial celebrations marking the Republic of Türkiye’s foundation, the “Itinerant Pucara Bull: Ambassador of the Peruvian Highlands” exhibition, comprising 16 art pieces, has arrived in Türkiye, organized at an international level by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru. This exhibition is one of the most significant and symbolic displays, having become an integral part of Peru’s tangible cultural heritage.

The origins of Toro de Pucara trace back to the Checca Pupuja community in Jose Domingo Choquehuanca, located in the Puno region in southern Peru. The tradition of pottery making enriched with knowledge brought about during the Spanish conquest has fostered the development of local pottery production in Southern Peru.

One of the bulls displayed at the exhibition, Istanbul, Türkiye, Nov. 9, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Instituto Cervantes)
One of the bulls displayed at the exhibition, Istanbul, Türkiye, Nov. 9, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Instituto Cervantes)

This enriched pottery tradition has incorporated techniques of glazing and pottery-making similar to pieces from regions such as Talavera de la Reyna, Puente de Arzobispo, Teruel, Muel and Sevilla in Spain, alongside the use of potter’s wheel for crafting vessels and jars.

“This is an artistic expression, as I explained, the product of the work of very humble people from the town of Pucara that goes back many years and represents transit and symbiosis, also of Andean artistic expressions with some Spanish heritage. I mean the bull itself, which is a representation that, in our case, is evidently Spanish, also European, which came with the conquest and is incorporated into the local art. In a way, Istanbul plays a role similar to those localities where the bull is produced because they are also transit zones. In these areas, people communicate to sell their products, where they communicate to transport various things produced in agriculture, etc., along with livestock. So, in a way, it also expresses that, but above all, it’s oriented toward the theme of fertility – a representation of fertility that the bull embodies and prosperity,” the Ambassador of Peru to Türkiye Cesar De las Casas said during the exhibition.

“Therefore, that vision of the bull as an energetic, fertile, and vigorous creature is present in this, and there exists an Andean expression, but also a product of elements of cultural symbiosis,” he added.

After touring countries worldwide such as Chile, Ecuador, the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, India and New Zealand since 2022, the exhibition arrives in Istanbul for the first time.

Leal Villa de Pucara Municipality has been instrumental in facilitating this cultural exchange, and it can be visited at Art Feshane.

Courtesy: Dailysabah