An American Inca

Portrait of Life Changes

Afro-Peruvian Culture


Perhaps this name does not mean anything to the reader, "Alonso Prieto". Mr. Prieto, was the first African that arrived to Peru. He was part of the Spanish Army directed by Francisco Pizarro during the Spanish Conquest of the American Continent by the 1500's. It can be concluded that the immigration of African people was the result of the arrival of the Spaniards. The first large group of Africans arrived in the condition of slaves and as free labor force, which experienced exploitation in the fields of agriculture, construction and servants around the coastal areas of Peru.

Africans were brought to Peru and to the rest of America, in special vessels called "Coffins" or "Tumbeiros". They were part of tribes and came from Newfoundland, Succumb, Mandingos, Cambundas, Carabalies, Cangas, Husks, Huachiríes, Howler, Misangas and others.

Before and right after the emancipation (on December 3rd, 1854), the slaves, mostly Africans and their descendents, lived in plantations, shacks or huts and in cities around the costal areas. For an unknown reason (some people believe because of the altitude and cold weather), Africans were not established in the mountains (Andes).

Africans brought with them into Peru, their culture, ritual, religion, beliefs(Black-Magic worship), music and
dance. The last two have brought name and recognition to this date to a number of Africans' descendents in Peru, due to their excellence in the mastering of the aforementioned genre.


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