April 15, 2010

National El Paso Horse Competition – Peru

Today is part of the Paso Horse Festival held in Lima, Peru.

The Peruv
ian Paso horse is considered an elegant breed that originally came from a cross of the Spanish Andalusian horse and the Arabian stallion. Paso horses have a gait in which their back and front legs act in parallel. Some people think the “jaunty” steps, called “ambling,” almost makes the horses look like they are dancing.

There is video of the gait

At the festiv
al, people can compare the craftsmanship of saddlers, carpenters, braiders, engravers, silversmiths and saddle blanket makers, plus the skill of the horse trainers and riders.

Learn how to draw a horse's head.

Did you know that there are YouTube videos on how to draw lots of different things? Here's one about horses! And here is another--this time, it's painted rather than drawn!

Learn about Peru

This country in So
uth America is particularly known for its high mountain range, the Andes, and for its ancient civilization, the Inca. In 1532 the Inca were conquered by Spanish men and Native Americans under the direction of Francisco Pizarro. Peru was a Spanish colony until 1821.

One of the most famous spots in Peru is an Incan site 12,000 feet high in the Andes mountains, called Machu Picchu. This ancient city was suddenly abandoned and allowed to be overgrown until the early 1900s, but its excavation has told us a lot about the pre-Colombian Inca civilization.

Discover more about Peru with the National Geographic photo gallery. You may want to do a Web Quest about Peru. When you're confident you know a thing or two, take a quiz at Time for Kids.

Learn more about the Inca
at Mr. Donn's site.
Read about how the Inca used llamas, how the Inca farmed on steep mountains, and how the Inca used knotted ropes for measurement and secret messages (under “Inventions”)--and of course, much, much more!

Check out the
Ancient Americas Odyssey, too. Each picture and bit of text is a link to more—including one section that asks, “Why should I look at ancient things?” Be sure to visit the food section, too!

Older students may enjoy Ancient Web's write-up and wonderful photos, including one of an Incan mummy.

Here is a jigsaw puzzle of Machu Picchu.

Do you speak Quechua?

This language is one of the two official languages of Peru. (Can you guess what the other is? Which country colonized Peru for several centuries?)

Here is some vocabulary in Quechua, and here is some ancient Incan poetry (basically, prayers) in English and in Quechua.

More about Peru can be found in this January post, and more about the Inca can be found in this February post.

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