Yawar Fiesta - Festivales en Perú

Location: Cotabambas (Apurímac)
Date: July 26-30

In the village of Ccollurqui, in the province of Cotabambas, Apurímac, an eight-hour drive from the city of Abancay up a dirt road, the locals celebrate Independence Day with a bullfight whose symbolic characteristics have turned it into a ritual.

Taking part are a bull and a condor, portraying the Spanish and Andean worlds, respectively. Once the condor has been trapped, it is lashed to the bull's back, which the bird pecks at savagely in a bid to free itself. At the same time, the bull is released in the ring and surrounded by spontaneous bullfighterswho fend off the animal with their ponchos. The bull, maddened with pain, leaps into the air trying to rid itself of the condor.

Finally, when the bull has been overcome -and it usually is- the condor is set free amidst music and general rejoicing. If the condor is badly wounded, or dies, it is taken as an omen for the village. At night, dancers take to the streets, fireworks are set off and the villagers stage a torchlit procession.


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