The myth of Rijkrallpa is inspired by the pre-Columbian Andean beliefs and legends, recalling the mystic stories recovered by the Spanish chroniclers following the discovery of the New World and the conquest of the Inca Empire during the XVI century.
"Rijkrallpa, a winged god born of the waters, after learning to fly with his master Chonkik, flies to the lands of men where he contemplates the earthly life. Upon his return, he decides to renounce his divine condition and asks his master to tear off his wings, because he understands that he will not be able to attain wisdom if he does not suffer a human condition. When he dies, Rijkrallpa regains his wings, symbol of his divine essence."
Read the mythical narration (in Spanish)
Read the poem (in Spanish)
The RIJKRALLPA exhibition employs three discourses in its conception and development: the artistic, the philosophical and the didactic. In order to illustrate these concepts, it is based on pre-Columbian Peruvian worldview, which highlights the relationship between the individual and his or her natural environment.
The project produces pieces of contemporary art with an aesthetic taken from the Mochica culture, in order to generate reflection and curiosity in relation to its fictional or original nature. The pieces exhibit Mochica spirituality and their way of understanding the world. This should make people reflect on our relationship with the ancestral past and our natural environment.
The exhibition raises the problem of the genesis of a myth and its evolution over time, while questioning the possible fictional and novelized construction of reality. At what point is reality interpreted and gives way to fiction?
"Faith generates truth"
Finally, the exhibition desires to spread the knowledge about the pre-Columbian past of Peru through faithfully reproduced Mochica artistic expressions, as well as other expressions which developed in Northern Coastal Peru. The pieces rely on information of the supposed place of origin, artistic style, and an interpretation according to current archaeological theories.
Know more details on the concepts developed by Museum Rijkrallpa
THE REALIZATION OF THE EXHIBITION
In order to trace the myth and set up the exhibition, we convenes with Peruvian artists so as to create objects which cultivate the aesthetics of the archaeological vestiges of the pre-Hispanic Moche culture. Each object reveals a specific element which refers to the myth of Rijkrallpa and is used to support its narration. In addition, a particular situation is related to the origin of the object in question: it is either coming from a recent archaeological discovery or from private collections result of pillaging. These elements let us not only discover exceptional real sites, but also address the problem of illegal traffic of heritage, a real cultural calamity in Peru.
Finally, in order to propose an approach both scientific and engaging, the exhibition puts on a performance a group of fictional researchers, the Fundación Patrimonio Moche, which shares its interpretations about the myth and its relevance for today.
It also unveils the historical scale of the cult to the deity of Rijkrallpa and its relatedness to the cycles of nature.
FUNDACIÓN PATRIMONIO MOCHE
Fundación Patrimonio Moche is a group of researchers who investigate since 1997 the historicity of the legend of Rijkrallpa. Its founder heard from Washington Maguiña
- a peasant and shaman from Northern Peruvian Coast - the legend during
an ayahuasca ceremony.
FPM begins his long investigation into pre-Columbian vestiges to find traces that allude to Rijkrallpa, whose myth had always been believed to be a Christian interpretation from the Spanish chronicles. Indeed, there is only one page of the author Guaman Poma de Ayala that refers to a divine character who renounces his wings.
FPM finds vestiges in different contexts such as archaeological excavations, Peruvian and international museums, private collections, the black market and looting, which allows the group of researchers the ability to give a historical sustenance to the legend.
After nearly two decades of research, FPM brought together 23 vestiges related to Rijkrallpa.
In the late 90s, the shaman disappeared mysteriously, FPM concluded, then, that he is the last guardian of the cult of the deity.
The exhibition proposes, by means of an artistic demarche which uses Peruvian ancestral aesthetics and an imaginary scientific procedure,
to evoke the formation of myths and, more generally, to initiate the visitors
to the history and archeology of the Andean civilizations.
At the same time, however, it seeks its visitors to witness the emotions, the thoughts and teachings that an archaeological investigation entails when it reveals the beliefs of the past and transmits pre-Columbian cultural heritage.
Rijkrallpa (Peru, 2008)
First exhibition held in April 2008, at Fundación Telefónica de Lima Center (Peru). The number of visitors is estimated at approximately 1000.
El Mito de Rijkrallpa (Spain, 2008)
Between June and September 2008, the Rijkrallpa project exhibited for the first time in Europe, in the Peruvian pavilion of Expo Zaragoza "Water and sustainable development", representing Peru. Over 100,000 visitors were counted in the duration of the event.
Huaca Rijkrallpa (Peru, 2009)
Returning the following year to Lima in the gallery (e)Star, the exhibition presented the poem and the Ceremonial Jewel of Rijkrallpa within the sacred space of a Huaca created for the event. More than 2000 visitors were registered during the month of the exhibition (March 2009).
Rijkrallpa: ¿El Último Timo Moche? (Peru, 2010)
In July 2010, the short film "Rijkrallpa: The Last Timo Moche?" was presented to the 11th International Video / Art / Electronic Festival at the Túpac Center in Lima (Peru). More than 2000 visitors were registered throughout the festival.
Museo Rijkrallpa: El Último Mito Moche (Peru, 2012-2013)
In 2012, the Rijkrallpa project developed the concept of a itinerant site museum. In collaboration with artisans from different parts of Peru, 6 new unique pieces were created which illustrated different episodes of the myth of Rijkrallpa. This exhibition was received by the Centro Cultural de España in Lima (Peru) between November 2012 and January 2013. The CCE registered 22'813 visitors during the 3 months of the exhibition.
L'Ange des Andes - (The Angel of the Andes) (Switzerland, 2016-2017)
Invited by the Roman Museum of Lausanne-Vidy (Switzerland), Rijkrallpa Museum celebrated its second coming to Europe 8 years later. This exhibition was marked by the creation of 14 new "vestiges" that enriched the heritage of Rijkrallpa. As part of this exhibition, which lasted 8 months (May 2016 - January 2017), several events were organized to introduce the history of pre-Columbian cultures to the Swiss public, as well as to reflect on the circumstances that lead to the creation of a myth.
Among those events we can mention:
- a multidisciplinary seminar organized with the Institute of Archeology and Ancient Sciences (IASA) at the University of Lausanne
- informative talks organized at the Roman Museum of Lausanne-Vidy
- the creation of Rijkrallpa beer which was inspired by the ancestral Andean recipe of chicha de jora
- and finally, the organization of a Peruvian gastronomic menu at the Hospitality School of Lausanne (EHL) to illustrate the myth of Rijkrallpa, with the exceptional coming of the Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio.
MUSEUM RIJKRALLPA is a project of cultural mediation consisting of an artistic exhibition of archaeological fiction.
It exposes a set of pre-Columbian-looking pieces, in order to trace and give birth to the myth of the deity called Rijkrallpa, which originates in a anthology of poems written by
the Peruvian artist Bili Sánchez Montenegro.
This interdisciplinary project was created in 1997 by the same author.