Papa Arariwa are the descendents of the pre-Incan cultures of Peru. They are the original potato guardians who have conserved and preserved the potato in its center of origin in Peru for millenia. The image of the Papa Arariwa was once seen in ancient textiles. It portrayed a farmer caring for potatoes. The International Potato Center honors the original Papa Arariwa by using this image as a logo so that we may remember these farmer scientist who passed down their traditions so that we might enjoy the food security and nutrition of the potato today.
The image of Papa Arariwa has been part of the CIP logo since its founding in 1971. Over the decades the logo has changed slightly. The contemporary logo includes Papa Arariwa holding both a potato stalk and a sweetpotato vine. Sweetpotato was adopted by CIP as a mandate crop in 1988. Though the sweetpotato has its origins in the Carribean and Central America, CIP's genebank in Lima, Peru conserves and preserves sweetpotato (a storage root) as well as its namesake potato (a tuber).