DIABLADA: The rebellion dance
This dance shows a deep cosmovision stemmed in the Andean cult of the mean "supay" of "huari", god of the mountains and of the devil of the catholic lithurgy.
The catholic religion implanted by the Spanish Crown in its colonies was designed by an educational system for the conversion of adult indians, "purifying" their "pagan"customs through, for instance auto sacramental and processions or commencement offering dances.
The conquistadores wanted to christianize the indians; they practiced the cathechesis of Christianism against the "paganism". However, the mutual religion influence caused the peculiar syncretism in our society.
Uprooted of their ayllus (communities), the mitayos (pawns) for the service of the conquistadores, would invoke their legendary god of the profundities Huari in the galleries, exuded in the owner of the spots or El Tio (the Uncle).
It so happened that Tio was converted into a benefactor deity of the Mitayo, who would beg him for protection and wealth, offering in exchange, chicha (a drink), alcohol and coca leaf.
With the passing of the years, the Andean man adopted the catholic faith as a strategy of survival rejoining native festivities, as the "jatun poccoy" blooming) with the European carnival brought by the conquistadores. The dramatized fight between San Miguel Arch Angel and Candelaria Virgin in front of the devils and satans has a double interpretation. In the christian sense, it would result being the exponent of the seven capital sins of the court of "Luzbel rebel Prince".
the devil dancing groups implicates a rebellion of the miner mitayo that disguised as a devil to act against his oppressors, he would use the religions dance for expressing his anxiety of freedom and the struggle for acquiring it.
The Mitayo had scarce licenses and one of the exceptions was to get out of his underground work in carnival, while the orgies tolerated by the church, would prosper in the city. This would reach a wantonness of his repressed inhibitions by the mita (forceful duty), and the vindication of his lost dignity.
Since prehistorically days, as per a legendary thought and uru zootist, the demonological phenomenon takes us to the ancient "chullpas jakes", whose descendants are our urus fore parents.
The footprint should be looked for with the aid of archeology. Within the "zoolatric" cult of the ancient Orureños (native from Oruro city) stone-sculpted heads of pumas (kind of Andean tiger), deers, and mainly llamas (kind of Andean ruminants typical to these regions) with hornet shapes are to be found.
It also corresponds to this period the legend of the strength, fire, and the mountains god Huari who wanted to destroy the Urus for their virtual degeneration. Therefore, the hell supporters of Huari, had to be defeated by the ñusta; the toad the viper, the lizard, turned into stone and the army of ants condemned into simple sand dunes.
According to legend, the defeated Huari took refuge for good in the inside of the mountains where there are rich minerals, for not ever going out again.
In the historical period of the devil dancing groups, there is a stage of transculturization that initiates with the foundation in Villa de San Felipe de Austria in 1.606,
when the shock of two cultures was the norm, although the ancestral remains turned out to survive.
Another stage, that of religious dualism (1.789 - 1.900) is explained when the transfiguration of the Andean Pachamama into the Virgin of Socavon widens the religious syncretism while the third powerful ingredient germinates: the replying fact of relieving of the profound psychic repressions.
Out of this situation, it crops up the tradition of the famous bandit Anselmo Belarmino, the Chiru-Chiru or Nina-Nina that in spite of his misdeeds helped poor people and revered the Virgin of Candelaria in his shelter in the Pie of the Gallo mountain.
During the stage of the social diffusion of this dance (1.900 - 1.950), the tradition of the devil dancing groups followed its way together with other kinds of dances in the festivity of Virgin of Socavon. It is the period of the highest prosperity for the appearance of other kinds of dances in a process of disappearance and the creation of Institutions like the Gran Traditional and Authentical Devil Dance Group of Oruro that was founded in 1904.
More information about the dance and the masks here (in Spanish)
The Suri Sicuri emerged from andine communities like the Mollos, Aymaras and Lipis. In the region of La Paz it was performed in the provinces of Camacho, Ingavi and Pacajes in order to celebrate a wedding or the construction of a new house.
Its roots date back to pre-columbine times. The name of the dance refers to the hunt of the suri or ñandu (American ostrich) and to the musicians accompanying the dance by playing the andine pan flute, called sicu. The sicu-players themselves are called sicuris.
In the dance the ostrich is portrayed twice: on the one hand the dancers represent the movement of the animal and on the other hand they also evoque some of the bird´s aparicion by wearing enormous headdresses up to two meters wide and made of the suri´s feathers. The male dancers also wear a chest cover originally made of a tiger´s skin and black trousers while the female dancers use brightly coloured skirts.
KULLAWADA: Of Ancient spinners and weavers
The dancers wear colorful, elaborately decorated costumes for the dance, which is meant to represent the social class of weavers and textile workers. This is the reason why the dancers use a little spinning wheel as a symbol of the dance. In general, textiles had a great importance in the social relations and the reciprocity of the pre - Hispanic peoples, especially those of the kollas. However, the textile industry is not only a very important source of income, but also is of great iconographic and anthrophologic interest. - There is a complex symbology used in the design of the fabrics combining and stylizing natural and abstrac elements.
The textile industry also had an important impact on the social life of the pre-hispanic indigenous people, especially on the Kollas. The origin of this dance is linked for instance, the mythical story of the "ayllu kyllawa, out landed by the mallku Inti Willka".
The traditional costumary includes a hard hat (Kh'ara) with embroidery in semi-precious stones, little tassels of fancy pearls, both for men and women; a small poncho embroidered with the same elements of the hard hats adorned with round plates representing the ancient silverware.
The dancers wear a spinning wheel (k'apu), which is the most important symbol of the dance and sandals. Women wear a pollera (a typical skirt) an embroidered chest cover and on her shoulders, a small piece of bundler (lliclla) embroidered in the same fashion as the small ponchos: from the waist, bags with coins are hanging.
CARNAVAL BETANCEÑO & TINKU
The Carnaval Betanceño belongs to Bolivia´s most famous carnaval rythms. Actually it is a version of the Huayño, called Huayño Pasacalle whose letter used to be improvised and sung by the groups playing and dancing in the streets.
The village of Betanzos is located at an altitude of 3.250 ms above sea level around 45 kms from Potosi, once Bolivias most important city because of its silver mines. This region belongs to the zone most suitable for the potatoe-production. - There they grow over a hundred different types of potatoes, which, among other products, are sold on the big markets on the weekends. A few kilometres from Betanzos one can also see cave paintings and cuaternary fossiles.
For the dances of the region of Potosí there exist other tipical costumes: Women use a long black dress, richly adorned with embroidery, called Almilla. They also wear an Aguayo, used for carrying everything from vegetables to children and a shoulder cloth embroidered in vivid colours with floral motives.
In order to fix their two plaits and unify them, the dancers use an adornment called Tullmas. Their hats are made of sheep wool and the unmarried women decorate them with feathers and little mirrors.
Other garments in use are the chuspitas, little hand woven bags, used for carrying coca leaves for ceremonies, but also coins or paper money. Men as well as women use the Chumpi, brightly coloured sashs in order to fix and embellish dresses and trousers.
The Chulo, is hand woven cap is only used by men. Apart from daily use in order to protect themselves against the cold wind they are an object of prestige and identity showing to everybody which community its user belongs to.
The male dancers use rough white or black troursers. Their jackets are made of the same cloth, but usually they are brightly colored and richly adorned in the front part.
The Abarca or Ojota called sandals used to be made of leather. However, nowadays the craftsmen producing them often cut them out of pieces of tyre.
JulaJula de Norte Potosí
Huayno, also spelled Huaiño or Wayno, is widely recognized as the most representative dance of the Andes, with pre-Columbian (Quechua and Aymara) origins fused with Western influences. While historians speculate that it may have come from an Inca funeral dance, today it is purely festive.
Huayno music is played on quena, charango, drums, and violin, however, there are dozens of regional variations, some of which involve marching bands, trumpets, saxophones and accordions. The musical structure stems from a pentatonic scale (scale of five notes) with a binary rhythm, (2/4 time). This structure has made this genre the basis of a series of hybrid rhythms, running from huayno to Andean rock.
The Morenada is one of Bolivia´s most popular Highland dances. There are several theories about its origins which are fiercely debated among the specialists in this topic. Basically there are three hypothesis: The most commonly distributed one says that the dance was inspired in the sufferings of the African slaves brought to Bolivia in order to work in the Silver Mines of Potosí. The enormous tongue of the dark masks is ment to represent the physical state of these mines workers and the rattling of the Matracas are frequently associated with the rattling of the slaves´ chains. However, there is no evidence that these African slaves really worked IN the mines. There is quite a lot of evidence that they did work in the Casa de la Moneda in the production of the coins and in domestic service, but not as miners themselves.
A second theory relates the Morenada to the afro-Bolivians living in the Yungas region and the stamping of wine/the wine production. According to this, the barril-like Moreno-costumes would represent the barril containing the wine.
However, in the Yungas region there has never been any wine cultivation. At first sight this makes the theory seem extremely unprobable, but the texts sung in the Morenada contain hints to wine cultivation for a long time. In addition, if one goes back in history sufficiently, one can discover that there were afro-Bolivians working in wineyards - in other regions, such as Chuquisaca. Nowadays there might not be any Afro-Bolivians left where there are wineyards, but when the dance was created, there might have been.
One sub-hypothesis is inspired on the rebellion against the caporal (the foreman for the slaves) in a vineyard; a negro girl distracted the caporal with her beauty carrying him to a heady feeling flood. It was there where they got to ridicule him, forcing him to step on grapes and move the wineries wheel turning hate into an ironic, happy and burlesque power full dance. Despite the fact that Yungas does not have viticulture and viniculture tradition one must take into account that in times long past there were african slaves working in viniculture in Cochabamba, Chuquisaca and Santa Cruz so that the myth doesn´t seem that strange as it looks at first sight..
Another important theory relates the origin of the Morenada to the Aymara people of the Lake Titikaka region. Places like Achacachi claim to be the place of origin of the "Fish Dance" as the Morenada in this region also is referred to and the matracas often have the form of a fish. Moreover there were some colonial paintings found showing figures dancing in a turrilito style costume that resembles nowadays dancing outfit and there still is a strong tradition of making elaborately embroidered Morenada costumes.
Vallegrande se caracteriza por su topografía accidentada con valles, montañas y varias serranías.Su clima es templado, poco variable y su principal producción es la Agricultura y sus campos son apropiados para el cultivo de especies de flora ornamental.Los pobladores de esta región fueron grandes comerciantes que unieron rutas entre el occidente y oriente bolivianos. También son conocidos por su gran afición a la abundante comida y los festejos carnavaleros de cada año.
Mucha gente carnavalera para esas fechas visita Vallegrande, ya que piensan que el carnaval es más bonito, por las tradiciones que estos llevan. - Algo muy tradicional en las festividades es la tojpina (pequeña orquesta local) la cual interpreta cuecas, kaluyos y carnavalitos. Las coplas que se cantan contestando las mujeres a los hombres suelen tener letras bastante pícaras y le dan el condimento al carnaval vallegrandino...
PUJLLAY: The ancient yampara carnival
In a historical background that integrates different ancient festivities, the carnival in tarabuco known as "pujllay" yampara, keeps its folkloric essence almost without any change expressed in its heavy dancing, its melancholic tone of music and the solitary singing of the peasant who tries to express his love for a maid.
He recalls at the same time the circles or rounds of peasants and mongrels (mestizos) of Chuquisaca, who go over the towns on foot or on horseback visiting houses where there is chicha and pukaras and their respective party sponsors.
In Phujllay, the pukaras or pre-inkan forts are converted into silver arches adorned with white flags, foliages and crops of maize, flowers, potatoes, produce, beehives, meat, drinks and so on.
In this carnival there coincide the prehispanic festivity of "Jatun Pocoy" (grat growth) and Pauker Waray (Sacrifice to Sun Afterwards; it was united to the commemoration of the victory of the yamparaes over the Spaniards in the Jumbate Battle on March 12th. 1816.
One has to buy "gallos" (cocks) or spurs from the blacksmith; that they make up out of percussion musical instruments fit to the big ojotas (kind of sandals) of the dancers. The higher the ojota, the more dexterous the dancer will be that is the one who wears them.
The leggings of abundant colors and figures that cover only the heel as high as the shinbone the tight-fitting jacket is a kind of blouse made of black cloth and fit with wide sleeves.
The pants are two kinds, one is short made of black wool cloth and another long made of white woolen cloth they are quite wide from the legs down to the shin bones.
The leather worker makes the belly- band pierced with hundreds of ringlets and repousée leather with figures of the zone, which serves as a purse. From the pita, threading hundreds of bronze little bells hang tied up with woolen string braids of bright colors.
The yampara makers of conical hats similar to the masks of the conquistadores, are richly adorned with flowers. The tailors make the coifs embroidered with thread of woolen strings and allegories of the peasant carnival, which hang from the head of the phujllay down shis back.
The uncku pallado is a small poncho (picked up at the collar) with figures and allegories of the region; under are others of red, black, yellow horizontal stripings, besides short multicolor flounces.
The chuspas (coca leaf containers) made by women, constitute the pride of the family. To complete this luxurious finery they carry on two fine silken handkerchiefs: one in the hand to keep the rhythm and /or the other fixed behind down the back with the corner downwards.
Other peasants of humble costumes play the pentatonic melody of pujllay, besides the new huayños composed. The "sencka" tanch'ana, a big flute whose holes are quite below relative of the mouthpiece waits for them which makes the musician to adopt a unique and an uncomfortable position. The presence of "machu tockoro" or idiophone is noted, whose mouthpiece recovers a leather flower ornaments and a great condor feather.
At their turn, the singers sing a melody of love for a maid and coplas (popular songs) of gratefulness to everything that surrounds them, animals, fruit, and so on.
Nubile and eminent weavers able to offer the most ostentation loom to cause admiration and love women also show dark costumes with indiscriptible lijllas (large square bundlers) and a'pus phallados and thick'anchados (adorned) with big topos (pins), phaca monteras (small masks), multicolor ribbons and chaskas (coins) adorning her headfront, and in her hand, a white wiphala (banner).
It was a custom to pretend this burial of the yampara carnival on temptation Sunday (last day of Carnival) of a poorly dressed peasant, whom the groups would chase throwing on him phullas (ash and flour and cattle shed). After leaving the young man abandoned, who would take the pretension of death of carnival, they would go back home with unnatural laments for the burial.
Tanzgruppe BOLIVIA: Pujllay
6 de Agosto del 2006: Fiesta en Sucre
La cultura afroyungueña es una fuente de donde se originan las danzas del Tundiqui o Negritos, la Saya, de la cual surge la danza de los Caporales. Por lo tanto no se debe confundir lo que es la Saya de los negros, con los Tundiquis o Negritos de aymaras y mestizos o con los Caporales que se baila en los sectores urbanos y de clase media!!!
La danza representa la ridiculización del capataz negro, llamado caporal, frente a los esclavos traídos desde el África.
El disfraz del caporal consistía, en su primer diseño, en un pantalón estilo militar alemán, luego se usó un modelo abombachado tipo argentino, una camisa como las guaracheras cubanas, cruzándole una manta del hombro a la cintura, botas con cascabeles, el sombrero de paja, en la mano un chicote y, lo fundamental, la máscara de negro.
La coreografía no se parece en nada al ritmo de la Saya. Los que confunden estos ritmos lamentablemente nunca han visto ni oído la danza y música de la Saya. No hay matices ni semejanzas, la saya es la saya, el caporal es el caporal.
The word Saya refers to a dance and music style which can be considered to be a hybrid product of African, Aymara and Spanish elements. The accompanyment with tambours and guanchas and the copla singing between a soloist and a choir show african roots whereas the female clothing is the dress of the Aymara women. Although earlier on there seems to have been some sort of Pidgean language nowadays the songs are sung in Spanish. In the old days the dance was conducted by the village elders and there was a strong social hierarchy respected in the dance. The Capitán de baile was the one who gave orders and the two Caporales marked the rhythm following the grand tambour with the little bells on their calves. Many changes have taken place since the dance´s revival in 1982 when some college students (Tercero Intermedio del Colegio Guerrilleros Lanza en Coroico) decided to make a presentation of the Saya for the Fiesta del 20 de Octubre. They consulted with the elders and their reconstruction of the Saya was so successful that it led to a big revival and the creation of various Saya groups which partly even developed into important social movements like the Movimiento Cultural Saya Afro Boliviano.
SAYA AFRO BOLIVIANA
Huayño negro (Casa de la Cultura, La Paz, 2004)
Cueca negra (Casa de la Cultura, La Paz, 2004)
LLAMERADA: Llama drivers dance
Llamerada is one of the oldest dances of the bolivian folklore; it belongs to the Aymara nation in its origins. Its original name is "karuwani".
Its link with the llama and the auchenics in general dates back to the pre-agriculture epoch, over forty centuries ago. Since those times, the llama gives food, transport and cover. That is why it appears painted in caves and ceramics and sculpted in stone.
For many pre-colombian cultures, dance was art and magic, for the dancing to be produced in reality; is why the llama herder dancers would imitate the scenes of herding in order to keep around the herd.
The llama herder dancing has changed in its magic sense and innovations were imposed in the choreography, costumes, participants and music. However, it has not stopped representing the relationship between the Andean man and the auchenids.
According to tradition, this dance goes back to a human fence around the auchenid herds people would push the animals to press together into a ring until they would reach them with their hands. The llamas, alpacas, vicuñas caught were sheared; the old or injured animals would become food stuff. The round up finished, the "huilancha"or the sacrifice of the propitiatory llama was made, whose blood was offered to gods.
According to another tradition, it recalls the Incan postilions in charge of herding the auchenids. It also rememorates the herders of colonial Potosi.
Under the current interpretation, it is a mimicking dance, because it tries to imitate the daily life of the herders and those of the shepherds; but it also represents the virtual linking with the llama, that is why the costume of the dancers is elegant and it recovers old signs of power.
In most of the bolivian dances, women partaking just since three decades ago, but in the llama herder dance a woman are in since ancient times, because the position tasks or that of the herders to Potosi was family activities.
The attire is a mixture of ancient elements, worn by the Aymara since pre-colombian and colonial times until the XIX century, with parts of the current Aymara clothes.
The hat is the most typical; it is square and embroidered with teaseling made of woolen cloth; it recalls the hat that the Aymara authorities would wear. The man wears a woolen shirt, woolen cloth or silken cloth; the short woolen cloth pants a bit down under the knees; woolen string socks; typical sandals; a colorful bundling square piece tied up on his chest; a chumpi or a multicolor sash that surrounds his waist; a rope hopped in a counter sense of that of the bundling piece. In the most traditional llameradas, men also wear a plaster mask with the lips gathered in a whistling attitude.
Men and women hold a sling or korawa in their right hand, a symbol of the shepherds and llama drivers, the main part of the choreography and of the clothing. Most of the "steps" include the movement of the sling pretending the driving or the throwing of stones. The women wear one or more wide long polleras (typical kinds of skirts); under the polleras are one or more underskirts or mancanchas made of white fabric; a blouse, and on it a crossed bundling piece.
Colors have changed. The traditional black color is worn by the tatalas (head drivers); the group, and this is one of the innovations wears differing colors according to the fraternity and according to the festivity.
The Tobas dance tries to represent the tribes of the Bolivian Chaco. Even before colonialisation there had been conflicts between the andine and amazonic cultures and in one occasion the quechua army took some selvatic prisioners, called ch´unch´us. The arrival of these oriental people inspired the aymara indians to the creation of a dance named Ch´unch´u.
In republic times the aymara migrants arrived to the Cities of Oruro and La Paz reinvented the dance and gave it the name of Tobas, the name of an ethnic group belonging to the Chaco region. They also recurred to the imaginatory representation of the Tacana culture, including the use of wooden masks and feather headdresses.
The rest of the dress used is rather light in order to give the dancers enough flexibility for their excessive jumps, turns and rapid movements. Concerning the choreografy Tobas is one of the few andine dances which require such an lot movement and physical effort.
The Macheteros dance probably is the most famous dance of the Beni region within and outside Bolivia. Its origins date from the colonial period. Although it represents the resurrection of Christ and his Ascension to Heaven the interpretation of the biblic history is strictly indigenous.
Each dancer carries a wooden sword (tumoré ti yucuqui) in his right hand and is dressed with a long white shirt with fringes. On the head they carry a big headdress called progi and made of the feathers of the amazone parabas bird. On the headdress they fix the leather of an amazonic predator. The feet are covered with the seed of paichachíes, which also serve as percussion instruments.
The Taquirari is the rhythm and dance most characteristic for the Departments of Santa Cruz, Beni and Pando, which form the so called Oriente Boliviano.
Although the dance has been present since the early 19th century, its actual origins are unknown. It is believed that the name derives from the moxenian word takirikire which means arrow.
The Taquirari is danced in couples facing each other and holding hands. It is a vivid and joyful dance with clear indigenous influence.
The tipical outfit of the camba (inhabitant of the Bolivian Orient, contrary to Colla, inhabitant of the Altiplano) includes white trousers and shirts. Women wear the traditional tipoy, a long dress without sleeves and adorn their hair with fresh flowers. The Taquirari is also considered the romantic song of the Orient, as its texts use to be lovesongs.
Vallegrande is characterized by its nice and warm climate and its valleys, mountains and hills. There is a lot of agriculture and as Vallegrande unifies the big transit routes coming from to bolivian lowlands and the altiplano it has been an important commercial zone for a long time. Moreover the region is well known for loving big parties with abundant food, drink and dance.
Many people visit Vallegrande during the carnival season as they think it to be the best place to celebrate the traditional carnival. - Something very tipical in this kind of festivities is the tojpina, a small local orchestra which interpretes cuecas, kaluyos and carnavalitos. There is a special tradition of singing coplas between groups of men and women always responding to the provocations of the other party and thus adding some spice to the carnival vallegrandino...
Every region in Bolivia is characterized by the music and dance which reflects the department´s tipical spirit: In Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz and Tarija Cueca and Bailecito belong to the most representative dances.
However, the Cueca has been transformed into a national dance important for the traditional folklore of the whole country. Rhythm slightly changes according to the region and so there exists a cueca cochbambina, chuquisaquena, pacena and chapaca which also show diferences in speed.
The piquaresque creole dance rose during the republic period, at the same time as a popular and an elegant salon dance. It is danced in couples and a very important part of the choreografy is the language of the handkerchieves used in a game of seduction and provocation. The Cueca consists in three parts: introduction, Quimba and Jaleo.
For the native population the arrival of the european cattle was an impact which led to choreografies like "waka-wakas" or "waka-thinti" (sowing potatoes), "waka tokhoris" (dancing bulls) and "tinti-kauallu" (bullfight with picadores).
The waca-thintis tried to represent daily agricultural life, the keeping of the sheep, the work of the milkwomen and bullfights using the muscial background of pinkillos and wancaras. For the natives the bullfights were a real novelty, which made them imagine and create the waca tokhori or dancing bull dance. In order to ridicule the taurine activities the indigenous people also incorporated cows, a kusillo (some sort of clown) and a jilakata (indigenous authority) in the dance.
As it happens to the majority of the bolivian dances, "evolution" has reached the dancing bulls and due to the massification of the cows, the silver coats and the big quantity of skirts for the mamatallas, initially a sign of good omen for the sowing season, were forgotten.
El varón lleva un capirote con pluma y cubierto de tul en la cabeza, un ponchillo, el toro o waca en armazón de cuero de buey rodeado por un pollerín que disimula los pies. Los bailarines que se identifican con el animal a través del disfraz, sujetan y manejan el armazón al ritmo de la música y en una actitud de torear.Men dancing as bulls or cows carry a big leather frame with horns representing the cattle. The legs are covered with a skirt fixed on the frame and during the dance the whole thing is moved in rhythm with the music.
The jilakata, equiped with a stick, a hat made of sheep wool and a tipical poncho, commands the dancing group. The bullfighter or kausalla carrys a sword and the tipical outfit of the Spanish bullfighters. The buffoon finally has to keep the animals together. The milkwomen use up to 25 skirts and a jar used by the milk sellers.
According to the pentatonic music the milkwomen pivet and thus show the multitude of their multicolored and richly adorned skirts.