Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Harvest Home/Twirling Extravaganza In Coporaque

So precisely at 6PM, light failing, we could hear the band firing up a block or two away, and we knew we were about to witness something special. Mostly I video-taped it--17 minutes to appear on YouTube pretty soon--but I did get a few stills, far from perfect because of all the movement and looming darkness. The band played just one song, sort of an A-B tune, the procession to the baritones on B, the twirling to the trumpets on A. Endlessly. The only other instruments were percussion. The tempo was, um, very upbeat. Since this was the Friday after Mardi Gras we were a little confused about what exactly was being celebrated. No matter. It was great. Watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFOPhquo1sU. It all stopped about 6:30, and we figured we'd seen enough and returned to the hotel. Before we got back the band fired up again, and, as the hotel manager explained to us, it would last until midnight, with periodic beer breaks. This was the third and final night of the extravaganza. That there were so many people participating, he explained, was because it was a family reunion sort of thing, many coming from Chivay or Arequipa or even Lima.

The dancers are not all women; many are men, dressed as
women, commemorating an old story about a young man,
deemed unacceptable by the family, who got a date with his
beloved by this ruse; the men's costume requires a sort of
lamp-shade hat

Rebecca, Rachel: Fafner has been reincarnated as a Peruvian
Terrier (his karma is to see the world...first a Scottish Terrier,
then a Tibetan Terrier, as we knew him, now in Peru); he
said he is a bit hungry now and then, and cold, and he misses
the swimming pool in Dallas but not the heat; said to tell you
hello (OK, it's the altitude...)

Bathroom designation back at the hotel

The male dancers' lamp-shade hat; not a terribly
effective bathroom designation...

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