Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bolivia Diaries: Day 8, Part 4 - Festival in Cochabamba

This diary is part of a series describing my trip to Bolivia to study food sovereignty, agroecology, and climate change. This diary is a photo diary from a festival in Cochabamba, the Festividad de UrkupiƱa. This week was the big opening day, and we had excellent seats at the parade, which was a magnificent display of traditional Bolivian dancing. This diary covers the dance Caporales.

Caporales represents the Spanish conquistadors. You can see that some of the dancers carry whips. From Wikipedia:

A male caporal dress depicts an old Spanish military guard. Wearing heeled boots bearing large bells known as "cascabeles", a male dancer carries a hat in his left hand and a whip in his right(sometimes). Even some girls will dance in a male role; some may refer to them as "chinas" or "machas". A female caporal dress consists of a minidress with matching panties, skin-color pantyhose, fancy high-heeled shoes, and a round top hat pinned to her hair. The style and colours of the dress are maintained the same for both the men and women of a certain group, but can vary drastically between groups. Men and women usually dance separately in a progressive march style dance. Caporales is a dance where you jump a lot and is very active in this way.

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