Tinku, the meeting

Gianni Bulacio


Potosí, Bolivia

In an extreme height amidst the Andes Bolivianos each May 3 around eighty indigenous communities arrive to the village of Macha located north of the department of Potosí , to celebrate the festival of Tinku , which in Quechua means ' meeting' . A meeting that they say, between communities, will remove tensions for some animal stolen or some land dispute . A meeting to show their courage and of courtship for get maybe an a couple to get married.

An encounter where they will fight.

An encounter where will be some deads.

With his punches and with his blood shed, will be offering to the Pachamama (Mother Earth ) to fertilize the soil and get good crops in the coming year.

Although the celebration has deep roots in the indigenous past , has merged with the Catholic faith transforming itself into a syncretic festival where communities come to the town square, carrying the Wila Cruz, who often have face masks like of Jesus , and who must dance and drink in his honor.

This type of ritual encounters were more common in the Andes in the past, but have been outlawed by the church and the police. Currently only can find in some remote villages like Macha, where tradition, and belief is so ingrained in his culture, that they continue meeting today.

{{ readMoreButton }}