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Big time masquerade in Bolivia

Q:  Can you send us some pics from your trip to Bolivia?  The Mask Man

A:  Here are 3 that seem to encapsulate it.  The two clowns are from the infinitely less elaborate La Paz carnival.  They represent the predominant character, Pepino, who is notorious for running around and spraying everyone with canned foam.  The other two show the Oruro carnival. One is a nighttime shot of the “Tobas,” a group representing the Incas who in native revisionist history conquered the invading Spaniards.  Although the group is called Tobas and composed of both men and women, the masked characters themselves (always men) are called “Chunchos” or “Indios Chunchos.”   The third photo shows the Archangel Michael leading a group of diablos.  Notice that several diablos have replaced the traditional dragon on the head with the Andean Condor, Bolivia’s national bird.  Strangely, the devil has gone from being the ultimate threat who staged mock battles with the angels to, in the present day, a patriotic lackey of the Archangel.  Culture change in action.  Aaron, 1150

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Categories:   South America

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