Thursday, August 4, 2016
Secret of the Andes, by Ann Nolan Clark
When circumstances show that Cusi is ready, he departs from Chuto with a small herd of llamas to find the ancient city of Cuzco, in hopes of finding a family of his own. Along the way, though, he discovers that much in the city is foreign to him. Raised in traditional Incan culture, he learns that most people speak an unfamiliar language (Spanish), have strange churches to a foreign God, and live in a way that he doesn't understand.
Nonetheless, he joins a family with many children (the parents' philosophy is generally "the more, the merrier") as they travel the city to trade before heading home. But his Indian name doesn't fit (they rename him Nicho), and although they're happy and friendly, Cusi never really feels at home with them. So he slips out in the night and heads back to the mountain.
Cusi learns over the course of his travels that he is descended from Incan royalty and, like Chuto before him, is charged with supporting the Indians of Peru from the background- remembering and teaching the traditional ways, keeping the language, and making gifts from his herd of llamas to keep the culture alive. Because although the Incans were conquered, they will be part of Peru forever.