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Oruro Carnival

Oruro, Bolivia

ORURO CARNIVAL: The highest cultural expression of Bolivian folklore, the Oruro Carnival “MASTERPIECE OF THE ORAL AND INTANGIBLE HERITAGE OF HUMANITY” is a religious festival in devotion to the Virgen del Socavón (Our Lady of the Mine Shaft), to whom tribute is given through music and dance. This manifestation of folklore has its origins in ancient Uru Culture and is characterized by its colour, craft in costume design and expressions that converge from various cultures; rituals and traditions from those who participate in this festivity, accompanied by the rhythms of bands that delight the public. This explosion of folklore is prepared with a lot of anticipation and a great number of ceremonies and rituals throughout the year. The most important presentation is the Saturday pilgrimage, when the dancers tour the various city streets ending up in the Sanctuary of the Virgin, where they receive the blessing of the Parrish and then kneel before the image of the virgin.

DIABLADA: This is the emblematic dance of the Oruro Carnival, which has its origins in ancient times with the discovery of the Virgen de la Candelaria (Our Lady of Candlelight) and her miracle, in the hideout of the famous thief Nina Nina, as legend says. This dance is the representation of the struggle between good and evil. 

MORENADA: Its origins can be traced to the black slaves in colonial times. On one hand, it is an Aymara satire of this reality and the methods used by the conquistadors during the daily work in the mines and wine-making by the slaves. On the other hand it is a melancholic expression of suffering for the cruel treatment they received.

CAPORALES: This dance of recent creation is both a representation and satire of the black slave who worked as a foreman to repress his own people and control the daily work.

TINKU (ENCOUNTER): The essence of this dance lies in the cruel combat between Laimes and Jukumanis, communities that fought through the years using brass knuckles and slingshots, while wearing pure leather helmets modelled after the Spanish helmets of the conquistadors.

PUJLLAY: This represents the blossoming of the fields, a festivity that begins in the ceremony of fertility and is characterized by its epic music and dance of a warrior tradition in the town of Tarabuco. Other dances that participate in the regal Oruro Carnival showcase the diversity of our culture, such as: Ahuataris, Suri Sicuris, Incas, Kallawayas, Doctorcitos, Tarqueada, Kantus, Potolos, Tobas, among many others that make this festivity an exceptional demonstration of culture and folklore.

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