Andean Carnival / Carnaval Andino

 "El Humahuaqueño"
 Acrylic on canvas. 20" x 30"
Carnaval is an ancestral tradition of the indigenous peoples of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, northern Argentina and Chile.  Banned in the 17th century by the Spanish, its native rituals destined to celebrate the goodness of the earth and to honor the deity of Mother Earth,  La Pachamama, survived fused to Catholic rituals coinciding with the beginning of Lent.  Andean people believed the mountains were sacred and so the villagers would walk up the steep mountains paths until reaching the top of the mountain to begin their rituals to honor Pachamama.  Carnaval is also meant to be a celebration of Thanksgiving filled with colorful customs, masks, streamers, joyful music and dance.   One such dance I always remember learning while in elementary school in Buenos Aires  is "El Humahuaqueño" from Jujuy, Argentina dancers mimics the village people, dancing and singing going up the mountain paths celebrating carnaval.  
Painting details