TITLE: Mestiza Qollacha
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
ETHNICITY: Quechua; Aymara
DESCRIPTION: Mestiza Qollacha (Mixed Race Woman) Mask
MAKER: Unknown maker from Jauja
CEREMONY: Tunantada (Fiesta de San Sebastián y San Fabián)
AGE: ca. 1980s
MAIN MATERIAL: wire mesh
OTHER MATERIALS: metal strips; paint; elastic strap
The Tunantada dance is a major event during the Fiesta de San Sebastián y San Fabián, patron saints of the city of Jauja, as well as other parts of Peru, including Huaripampa, Mantaro Valley, Yanamarca Valley. In the dance, held every January, participants dress in elaborate European costumes and wear wire mesh masks to imitate and satirize Spaniards. Dancers are accompanied by music from a diverse orchestra. Characters include Spaniards, a prince, muleteers, an Indian women who becomes the lover of the Spaniards (the chupaquina or huanquita) and Indians called chutos and huatrilas. This mask represents a mestiza qollacha (also written qoyacha), or mixed race (Spanish and Quechua) woman, who dances with the españoles. With the mask, the dancer wears a colorful and elaborately decorated hat and colorful dress. In some parts of Peru, the dancer wears no mask.
Click above to watch a short documentary on Corpus Christi in Cusco, Peru.