Puno, and the jaw-dropping Fiesta de la Candelaria

Over the past few weeks, Puno has been a kind of home base for my work with Project Suyana. Known as the folkloric capital of Peru, it certainly didn´t let down in that respect during the celebration of the Virgin of the Candelaria.  I asked a few people what exactly the Virgin did, and I mostly got vague responses related to her protecting the city in a war with Bolivia and curing illnesses.  In any case she is religiously important for the syncretic Peruvian Catholics and presents an opportunity to dance in the streets in elaborate costumes and get blindingly drunk, which most of the people dancing in the parade and waching the parade very much were.

I felt bad denying drinks as I was walking down the street (some streets were lined with tents full of beer and groups drinking from 8am on), but I wanted to stay relatively stable for taking pictures and being able to remember what happened. The first parade were of groups from the countryside (danzas autóctonas), followed by groups from Puno and other places in Peru in some pretty outrageous costumes (trajes estilizados and trajes de luz).  I also ventured to the Saturday market with my host Dr. Ivan Hancco as his family did the weekly shopping trip and took some pictures. There are also a few shots of my Aymara lessons given by Dr. Ivan´s father.

Candelaria pt. 1:

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I was beckoned over by a family to share a beer with them, and the highly intoxicated aunt obliged me to take a picture of her dancing.
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Waving the Aymara flag.
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With the family of Adela, the head honcho at the old folk´s home in Chucuito.
Between groups of dancers kids would run out on the street and spray foam at each other, and as the goofy tourist I automatically got sprayed down.
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Candelaria pt. 2 up next...

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Comments  

 
0 #1 dad 2010-02-21 03:09
Ty,

That was jaw dropping! Looks like you are having a blast. Are all the GREAT pics and videos being taken on the Canon SD1000? They look fantastic.

Love Dad
 
 
0 #2 patricia o 2010-03-04 15:11
Two years ago I danced as a china with the group from Morenada Galeno. I had arrived only the night before and was most definitely not ready for those shoes - but it was amongst the most amazing experiences I've ever had.

Your pictures are beautiful and the shots are really great at capturing some of the movement and excitement of the feast!

-p
 

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