Cusco is a city rich in historic and cultural monuments but you don’t often hear talk of the Cusco cultural icon ‘Incaman’ (as we like to call him,) who operates near the ‘Inca Roca’ palace and the famous twelve angle stone on the pedestrian Hatun Rumiyoc street.
Incaman or Uriel Tapama Mamani studied theatre in Cusco. Back in 2003 while out walking one night, he surprised a group of young men writing graffiti on the stones of the palace. Uriel himself a descendant of the Incas regarded these stones as sacred so decided from that moment on to start protecting them and to make sure no one else did the stones any damage. Later, he had the idea of dressing up in typical Incan costume, made by himself to earn a bit of money while keeping an eye on the street.
Today, Uriel is a Cusco legend and is officially recognized as part of Cusco’s cultural heritage. His skills as Incaman have earned him roles in films, traditional festivals, shows, documentaries and of course the eponymous annual Inti Raymi festival. The twelve angled stone is a curiosity of Incan architecture, and its protector a symbol of the richness of that culture.
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- Uriel is happy to pose for photos with visitors but appreciates a donation for this privilege!
- Just around the corner there is a lesser known stone with thirteen angles. Amazing!