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Pucara Bulls - Peru's hidden cultural treasures

Amy Kruger
May 5, 2020
4 min. read
Peru · Peru

As you travel through Peru, you might come across a few unexplainable silhouettes that catch your eye every now and then.

I am almost certain that every single person that visits Peru has one Google search in common, ‘what are the bulls on top of the roofs for?’. Completely understandable!

Well, these are, to cut straight to the point, a Peruvian symbol of protection and happiness for the families that reside there.

Pukara bulls in a market in Puno

You might find these symbolic Pucara bulls being sold in most markets around Peru, however, I think that something with this much meaning and this much symbolism behind it should certainly be created by your own hand!

Art Workshop In Cusco to Design Your Own Pucara Bulls

I don't want to give away all of the informative fun in one article as I would really like for you to learn about and experience this fascinating part of Peruvian culture for yourself. But, I can share with you a little teaser as to what the different colors symbolize:

Art workshop in Cusco to design your own Pukara bulls

RED: Protection and love in the home
YELLOW: Energy, and good luck
GREEN: Economic prosperity, fertility and good health
BLUE: Confidence, fidelity and friendship
BLACK: Protection against envy
WHITE: Peace at home
ORANGE: Joy and fun
NATURAL/UNPAINTED: Protection for the family

Utensils offered during the art workshop to design your own Pukara bulls in Cusco

Now that you have this tiny bit of information, you can start planning your own creation with our new 2-hour art class together with the artist Julio Gutierrez in Cusco. Here you will get to hand paint your very own iconic bulls 'toritos' de Pucara.

Not only will you get to express yourself creatively, but you can use the information learned during your visit (don't forget the colors above) to create a personalized version of the bulls to take home with you. A great option for families too!

Two ladies visiting the art workshop in Cusco to design a Pukara bull
Mother and daughter handcrafting their own toritos of Pukara in an art workshop in Cusco

Pucara Bulls at Sol y Luna

If you stay at Sol y Luna Hotel & Spa - one of our favorite hotels in the Sacred Valley - you will also find Pukara bulls on the roofs of every casita (bungalow). And what is more, the property stimulates creativity through the artwork of Federico Bauer and its flourishing gardens.

Pukara bulls on the roofs of Sol y Luna Hotel in the Sacred Valley
Bulls by the artist Federico Bauer at Sol y Luna Hotel Sacred Valley

As a tradition, you should place 2 Pucara bulls with a ladder and cross in between on the roof of your house (don't worry, inside works too). This will bring protection, happiness and fertility to you and your family.

So why not paint yourself orange and join in on this exciting adventure in Cusco.

Add this 2-hour Pucara bull painting workshop to any one of our handcrafted journeys in Peru.

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