Q’ero (spelled Q’iru in the official 3-vowel Quechua orthography) is a Quechua community or ethnic group in the province of Paucartambo, in the Cusco Region of Peru.

The Q’ero became more widely known due to the 1955 ethnological expedition of Dr. Oscar Nuñez del Prado of the San Antonio Abad National University in Cusco, after which the myth of the Inkarrí was published for the first time. Nuñez del Prado first met the Q’ero on a festival in the town of Paucartambo (about 120 km away).

The Q’ero live in one of the most remote places in the Peruvian Andes. Nevertheless, they were incorporated into the Yabar hacienda, located outside of Paucartambo. With the assistance of advocates from outside of the communities, the hacienda’s owners were banished in 1963, and since then the whole area has belonged to the Q’ero.

The Q’ero believe that they are descended from the Inca and consider themselves the last descendants. According to tradition, their ancestors defended themselves from invading Spanish conquistadores with the aid of local mountain deities (Apu) that devastated a Spanish Army near Wiraquchapampa.

Text adapted from Wikipedia’s article on the Q’ero peoples

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