A country of western South America on the Pacific Ocean. Inhabited since at least the 9th millennium B.C., it was the center of an Incan empire established after the 12th century A.D. The Spanish under Pizarro conquered the empire in 1533 and set up in 1542 the viceroyalty of Peru, which at one time included Panama and all of Spanish South America. Peru achieved full independence from Spain in 1824. Lima is the capital and the largest city. Population, 17,031,221.
- Peru´vian (-vę-en) adjective & noun
Peru's Native American heritage is one of the richest in South America, preserved throughout Peruvian culture and society. While people live in a modern Western style along the coast and in highland cities, in the remainder of the highlands and the eastern jungles Native Americans retain lifestyles similar to those of their ancestors.
Shamans say Clinton to survive
scandal, Monica to suffer
December 31, 1998
Web posted at: 12:36 a.m. EST (0536 GMT)
LIMA, Peru (AP)
-- President Bill Clinton will survive the sex scandal hounding him and serve out his full term, Andean soothsayers predicted
Wednesday. The shamans, descendants of the mighty Inca empire that once ruled Peru, said they based their predictions on visions brought on by drinking a brew made from a jungle vine, a hallucinogen they say has curative, religious and extrasensory powers.
"Clinton will survive, but Monica (Lewinsky) will suffer because she writes a book and the truth of it will be challenged," said Juan Osco, 45, after he spat a herb mixture over photos of Clinton, Lewinsky and other famous figures. The ceremony involving eight soothsayers atop a hill overlooking Lima takes place each year to bless the new year and appease the god Apu, who they say inhabits the hill.
Shamans are common and respected in Peru, with many poor families who cannot afford modern medicine relying on them for their health care. They carry on the tradition of Peru's Indian cultures.
Three Englishmen traveling by train in Peru in the 1920's found themselves to be the only passengers in their car. Introducing themselves, they discovered one's name was Bingham, the second Powell, the third was Bingham-Powell.