Photos of Tarabuco, the home of Yampara culture and Pujllay, Bolivia

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Tarabuco, the home of Yampara culture and Pujllay

Tarabuco is a small Indian town about 65 kilometres east of Sucre, and best known as the home of the traditional "Yampara" culture. There is a very colourful Sunday Market, where, among others, beautiful handmade weavings and "charangos" (small stringed instruments with the shell of the back of an armadillo on the back) are for sale. Many people wear their traditional Yampara costumes, which not only preserves their identity but also advertises their location of origin to others within the Tarabuco area.

Street in Tarabuco
 
Near Tarabuco
 
Village of Tarabuco
 
Tarabuco street
 
Donkey transport
 
On the main square
 
Tarabuco Plaza
 
Buying coca leaves
 
Tarabuco street
 
People watching
 
Crowd in Tarabuco
 
Yampara men
 
Yampara women
 
Traditional Yampara dress
 
Crowds in Tarabuco
 
 
Pujllay group entering
 
Miskha Mayu group
 
Pujllay dancers
 
White flags
 
Yampara dress
 
Spanish style dance
 
Dancing with the flag
 
Pujllay dance
 
Indian flute, Pujllay
 
Dancers and flutes
 
Men and boys dance
 
Pujllay flute player
 
Pujllay in Tarabuco
 
Pujllay dance with spurs
 
Dancing with
 
Woman dancer
 
Flute and drum
 
Drums and flutes
 
Boys with sign
 
Dance around Pucara pole
 

Each March the people of Tarabuco host the Pujllay festival, a great celebration with many colourful traditional costumes and dance. Pujllay (or Pukllay) means "play" in the Quechua language (the language of the Incas!) and is the name of a traditional festival held on various sites in the central Andes. The Bolivian Pujllay is also connected to the Christian Carnival and the celebration of a battle won over the Spaniards - hence the headdress resembling Spanish helmets and "gallu-gallu", jangling spurs that the men, dressed in their colourful "Yampara" costumes, wear in the dance.

There are groups from different villages in the district, carrying banners identifying where they are from and often the "Whipala" (the square Inca rainbow flag) of Qulla Suyu (or Collasuyu); this was the southeastern provincial region of the Inca Empire, which incorporated the Aymara territories that are now part of Bolivia. The Whipala functions as the dual flag of Bolivia along with the red, yellow, and green banner, confirming the Indian identity of the country.