Andeans becoming birds

Date and Time: 
Friday, 18 March, 2016 - 09:30
, Leslie - EcoRico Anqa

In traditional Andean ritual contexts, rural kin-bound humans dance as particular birds and dance bird roles in myths; dancers experience becoming these birds:  the "choique" lineage of Mapuche dance the "choique" bird's lifecycle; herding communities around the cordillera La Viuda dance as "kiuyos" do.  In Pasco's "Mama Rayhuana" saga, dancers enact comic birds helping humans invent horticulture. In inverted versions of a widespread danced myth, a bird flock hatches an egg from which a human hero emerges OR bereft humans create an egg to resurrect a savior bird.  Ritual bird dances once confined to micro-regions have been progressively appropriated for public performance by troupes uniformly costumed to reference one bird.  

Public bird dance performances commonly extirpate communications with the forces of nature, redirecting religiosity to saints’ statues.  Modern school children adopting local bird dances are rapidly diffusing contributions to the on-going re-vindication of Andean culture.