A handful of home

‘A handful of home’ is a play by Claudia Lang.
Geierwally Freilichtbühne, Elbigenalp / Tyrol

“A handful of home” is dedicated to the history of those who are considering emigrating Europeans who should inhabit the Peruvian jungle in the mid-19th century, to “cultivate” this according to European standards. In addition to numerous German and Tyrolean emigrated to Peru and thus took the great hardships of emigration to be. Pozuzo, the only project of a German-Austrian colony fell realized in Peru , turned out very much smaller than initially planned. The fact that people still dared to move into the unknown, was partly due to the handling of the domestic law of succession. Due to the former law relating to inheritance of farms and forestland, especially in the uplands of Tyrol only the eldest son of the family had the claim to the entire heritage. The remaining children were left without any property and had therefore no right to marry. The sad result was mostly a solitary life in poverty and servitude.

Driven by the hope of a better life and a better future for their children, in spring of 1857 around 300 brave Tyroleans and Rhinelander broke up inside their journey into the unknown. Upon entering the ship none of them knew how difficult and painful this way would really be. After four turbulent months at sea, where joy and sorrow were unbearable close together, their goal finally seemed to be within reach. But appearances were deceptive and it took a total of two long years of losses, disappointments and despair to the emigrants, before they finally reached their long-awaited goal Pozuzo.

Photos: Ralf Wapler

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Video courtesy of RE Gehnemigung One / Reutte Dietmar Nardin