If you’ve planned your visit to Cusco during this time, you should feel lucky. The city is like one big party during the 31 days of this month. Prepare yourself to discover a society that, in spite of the racism that still abounds, continues constructing the basis of its identity on these celebrations that keep Andean culture alive.
The capital city of Cusco and its 13 provinces (Acomayo, Anta, Calca, Canas, Canchis, Chumbivilcas, Espinar, La Convención, Paruro, Paucartambo, Quispicanchis and Urubamba) keep many traditions that have been conserved in spite of the colonial reign of the Spanish who tried to make them disappear. One of the most beautiful manifestations of Andean culture are the colorful outfits generally worn for dancing.
To keep these customs alive among young people, the Municipality of Cusco organizes a huge traditional dance competition in which all of the city’s school participate. For three days, the youngest of the society demonstrate their talent and abilities in front of a crowd that fills the Plaza de Armas. The first day is for the kids in kindergarten, the second for elementary school, and the third for middle school. They all wear dreamy, traditional outfits.
The quality of these outfits can vary a lot. In Cusco, there are many shops where you can rent the traditional outfits that fill the city in June. However, many of these are just cheap imitations of the real thing. Thankfully, little by little, Cusquenians are becoming more and more conscious of the meaning and beauty of these outfits. Besides that, the judges score the originality and beauty of the outfits to determine the winners.
The 2019 Festivals of Cusco stood out for the quality of the outfits presented in the competition, as well as the dances performed. Because of this, we want to show you some of the most striking outfits we found during the competition. Visit Cusco, and be surprised by its timeless culture.
All the photos by: Ricardo Gamarra (Salkantay Trekking)
We want to thank Amaru Cárdenas from Compañía de Artes Escénicas Tawa for the information. You can know more about them here: https://www.facebook.com/TAWACusco/