Sunday, July 19, 2009

Visiting the Parade

Today, Luptia, Gustavo, Carmen, Salome and I, went to Cayambe for the weekly indigenous dance parade. I was ecstatic. I was so excited to see the beautiful traditional clothing of the people and to see such a sacred festival.

When we got to the parade I was not let down at all! The dancers chanted and jumped up and down and paraded in the streets below the mountain for hours. The dancers wore very colorful clothing and native adornments. The men wore llama fur pants, a cream colored shirt, many festive and vibrant scarves, and a hat or mask with all the colors of the rainbow in ribbons flowing off of them. The women wore long crinkled yet flowing skits intertwined with gold in a variety of colors, a cream blouse, hand woven shawls and dozens of gold chains decorating their necks. It was amazing to see the women and men and occasionally children intertwining and weaving in the streets, stomping, screaming and drinking chucha (a traditional native hallucinogenic drink distilled from corn).

Besides the dancers, the streets were alive and pulsating as well. All the vendors came out and were selling traditional dance food: empanadas de queso (cheese pocket things), empanaditas (empanadas with nothing inside, just deep fried bread), cornballs, green beans, and bistec. Every storefront has their deep fryer open and is selling food to the people. There is also a carnival type area and a park as well. The carnival had a ferris wheel, a jumpy house, a fooz-ball table, and ball house and other attractions. This festival was definitely happening! We only stayed for about five hours, but it was amazing. I want to dance like that!

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