Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)


*Andes. Great mountain range that runs through Peru and the other countries of South America’s west coast. Within the novel, the mountains’ peaks are personified by the indigenous peoples: Urpillau, Huarca, Huillac, Puma, Suni, Mamay, who are inextricably tied to nature. Geography is always a silent presence in the novel. At times, it is almost a dominant character, reflecting the importance of geography in Peru’s culture: the lofty Andean sierra with its crisp, thin air, its gaunt landscapes, sparse vegetation, and rocky soil. Ciro Alegría was born and reared on a hacienda in the same region in which he sets this novel.


Rumi. Small Peruvian Indian village in which the novel is primarily set. The village is physically defined by Lombriz Creek, the plateau of El Alto, Lake Yanañahui, and the cliffs over Yanañahui; its space defines its inhabitants’ sense of self and order. Rosendo Maqui, the mayor, represents the inhabitants of Rumi at their best at the same time as the Rumi community, people and space, represents the ideal of nature. Rumi is a pastel-colored place, with cobbled, windswept streets and huddled houses. Its people grow potatoes and tend their llamas. They chew coca to cope with hunger and the cold, and their chests are like those of pouter pigeons since their high-altitude air has little oxygen.

Umay Ranch

Umay Ranch. Private ranch adjoining Rumi that...

(The entire section is 519 words.)