"Bolivian Odyssey - A photographic tour to the high Andes region of Bolivia in March 2016.
In partnership with High Lives
Bolivia is still a truly exciting travel experience. It has UNESCO world heritage cities of exquisite colonial beauty, A fiercely traditional indigenous population that clings to it's traditions of religion, lifestyle and dress code, the largest and highest salt flats in the world, along with magical high altitude desert regions and colourful volcanic lagoons. Here is a day by day account of the trip.
Tarabuco - The Pujllay Festival.
Sometimes, when it comes to festivals your just lucky!
The Pujllay Festival was supposed to happen the week before we arrived (The date of Pujllay differs year to year as it is timed according to Bolivia’s agricultural seasons), so it was pure good fortune that we were in Tarabuco during this colourful festival, when people from all over the surrounding countryside arrive to participate.
Pujllay (‘play’ or ‘dance’ in Quechua) is held to commemorate the March 12, 1816 Battle of Cumbate, an event in which the people of Tarabuco liberated their town from Spanish forces. It also celebrats Independence and is dedicated to memorializing those who have died and to expressing gratitude to the Andean deity Pachamama (Mother Earth). Signifying it's importance, the festival is often attended by government officials including the president himself, and plays an integral part in preserving the Quechua -Yampara traditions.
Begining with a Quechua mass, it is followed by a grand procession in which over 60 Bolivian communities from around the district carry banners identifying where they are from. Each group wears elaborate traditional costumes and performs dances unique to the region. One of the highlights of the parade are the outfits worn by the men, featuring headdresses, ponchos, spurs and wide-leg pants resembling the Spanish conquistadors they vanquished.