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TINKU HELMET – BOLIVIAN INDIGENOUS MAN’S FESTIVAL HEADGEAR

$249.00
SKU: Bolivia01
Brand:
Guatemala
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    TINKU HELMET – BOLIVIAN INDIGENOUS MAN’S FESTIVAL HEADGEAR

    TINKU is an Aymara word that is difficult to define succinctly, but may be considered to be a long-standing Andean tradition, found in both Peru and Bolivia.  It includes a ritual battle fought between two communities, ayllu, or other cohorts that normally interact in friendly relationships.  Although a ritual or mock battle, real fighting takes place and injuries, sometimes deaths, result. In recent years, authorities have attempted to regulate the fighting to some extent and reduce the physical injuries. The tinku battle occurs as part of a festival with dancing, drinking and general merrymaking.

    The tinku mock battle is also represented in native dances such as those performed at Carnaval de Oruro.  In the case of the dances, brightly costumed dancers face off, appear to struggle, throw each other to the ground and roll around, but no one suffers any lasting harm.

    An important element in the tinku dancer’s costume –several may be seen lying on the ground in the second image of the tinku dancers-- is a helmet made of tough, dried hide.  I imagine that these same helmets are also used by some men who fight in the real life tinku battles. These helmets –which seem obviously derived from the helmets worn by Spanish Conquistadores-- are hard, well-crafted, and would indeed provide substantial protection from blows to the head. 

     

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