Great Grandmother's Huaco

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Great Grandmother's Huaco
Great Grandmother's Huaco

At the turn of the century, the Peruvian government gave away farmland to Europeans. My great grandmother’s family in Switzerland was one of those families. They moved when she was a little girl. As one of many siblings, she grew up on the farm, having to help cultivate it from desert land. This farm is still in the family today and is owned by her sister’s children. While living on the farm, my great grandmother met my great grandfather just after he immigrated from Europe during the Great Depression. He was living in Paris and sent letters around the world looking for work. A company in Peru was the only one that responded so he moved there. He was put in touch with my great grandmother’s family and the two of them were set up on a blind date. After a few hours, they came back engaged! They were married and left the farm - finding jobs high up in the mines of the Andean mountains outside of Cusco. My grandfather was born there and is known as the “highest born” Swiss person in Peru. Occasionally Incan pots were found buried on the farm and were highly prized by my family. These pots are called huacos and are pre-Columbian ceramic pots that had ceremonial, artistic, religious and aesthetic purposes. They have been passed down through the generations. The one in the photo was given to my parents as a wedding gift. My mother also has many pottery pieces she collected as a little girl on her visits to Peru. 

Place(s): Switzerland, Peru, New York

– MLM

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more