Friday, November 7, 2008

100 Stuff Me Like


My fascination with The Republic of Bolivia

The women wrestlers:
Cholitas, who usually perform manual labor, train like men, fight like men and beat the men.

Diablada at Carnaval Oruro:
Declared one of Mankind's Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO in 2001. The highlight of the Carnival is conducted over three days and nights, with fifty groups parading through the city over a route of four kilometres. The groups represent various indigenous dance forms, and are accompanied by several bands. Over 28000 dancers and 10000 musicians participate in the procession that lasts 20 hours. The dances include Caporales, Diablada, Kantus, Kullawada, Llamerada, Morenada, Potolo, Pujllay, Suri Sikuris, Tinku, Tobas and Waca Waca.

Ecotourism in Bolivia:
Trekking, rafting, take birdwatching and wildlife observation tours, visit ancient ruins like El Fuerte the pre-Colombian fort near Samaipata (the drive to Samaipata itself is well worth a day-trip) and even experience living history in towns like colonial Buena Vista or the Jesuit Missions. Go to Espejillos where there is a series of waterfalls that look like they have been carved out and filled several deep pools as they cascade downward in step-like fashion, each flowing into the next.

Bolivian witchcraft:
In La Paz, they sell dried llama foetus, which apparently brings you good luck. When burnt with herbs and sweets they will bring good luck to businesses. If you put an armadillo over the door, it will ward off thieves. A dried frog augurs wealth is doubly effective if it has a cigarette in its mouth. Also, coca leaves, which are legal, will protect you against bad luck!

A ritual conflict. Men and women dance, drink chicha, and fight until blood stains all on the streets. It is not like boxing, it is more like street brawls. Weapons can include slingshots, boleadoras, clubs, whips, and sometimes horses.