Tinku

A Bolivian Aymara tradition

Tinku originated in the Andean region of Potosí, Bolivia and it is a form of ritualistic combat. Tinku means "encounter" in Quechua and in the language of Aymara it means “physical attack.” According to tradition, once a year during the early days of May, thousands of villagers gather in towns for several days to take part in this ritual. They come together to dance, drink chicha (an alcoholic beverage made from fermented maize), and fight each other, mostly with their bare hands. The participants carry a typical leather helmet (called "montera") and orange or bluish tunics (jaquetas). Typically, both women and men wear sandals with colorful thick wool socks. The women also wear hats topped with flowers and decorated with mirrors and long ribbons.
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Tinku Dancers on Queen Street, Auckland