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Maria Reiche Print E-mail

She was called the Lady of the Desert and the Lady of Nasca. She was born in Dresden, Germany on May 15,1903.

She arrived to Peru in 1932 and lived in Cusco. She worked for the family Tabel (German Council) as Tutor of their children.

She moved to Lima where she put an announce in the newspaper as German teacher. She met Paul Kosok in Lima, who hired her to help him in his researches. She devoted her time and the rest of her life to the study and diffusion of the nasca culture legacy. She was not always understood and frequently she suffered mistreat of people who saw her like a weird person. However, she dealt with adversity and was identified with "the marvelous that enclose the desert": The Nasca lines.

She wrote many books during her life. Among them, we can mention "El Misterio de las pampas" y "Contribuciones a la Geometría y la Astronomia en el Peru Antiguo" (even though she was almost blind and with Parkinson).

The identification of Maria Reiche with Peru became unlinked. The Peruvian government distinguished her with the "Order to the merit by distinguished services", in the 70s and in 1993, when she was 90 years old, she got the Peruvian citizenship. She passed away on June 8, 1998.

An extraordinary anecdote, almost magic in Maria’s life happen in 1932, in Cusco. While she was in a trip, she damaged her middle finger of the left hand. The infection became worse, so doctors had to amputate her finger. Can we imagine the surprise of Maria when 20 years later; in 1952 she discovered the figure of the Monkey with only nine fingers between the two hands?