An Andean condor viewed before the Yawar Fiesta, a ritual fight between the condor and the bull, held in the mountains of Apurímac, Peru. An Andean condor viewed before the Yawar Fiesta, a ritual fight between the condor and the bull, held in the mountains of Apurímac, Peru.
Peruvian peasants dance in the bullring before the Yawar Fiesta, a ritual fight between the condor and the bull, held in the mountains of Apurímac, Peru. Peruvian peasants dance in the bullring before the Yawar Fiesta, a ritual fight between the condor and the bull, held in the mountains of Apurímac, Peru.
A Peruvian indigenous man holds a crumpled trumpet during the Yawar Fiesta, a ritual fight between the condor and the bull, held in the mountains of Apurímac, Peru. A Peruvian indigenous man holds a crumpled trumpet during the Yawar Fiesta, a ritual fight between the condor and the bull, held in the mountains of Apurímac, Peru.
An Andean condor fights against a wild bull, while a bullfighter runs away, during the Yawar Fiesta held in the mountains of Apurímac, Peru. An Andean condor fights against a wild bull, while a bullfighter runs away, during the Yawar Fiesta held in the mountains of Apurímac, Peru.
Peruvian peasants gather around a captured Andean condor before the Yawar Fiesta, a ritual fight between the condor and the bull, held in the mountains of Apurímac, Peru. Peruvian peasants gather around a captured Andean condor before the Yawar Fiesta, a ritual fight between the condor and the bull, held in the mountains of Apurímac, Peru.
A Peruvian peasant drinks liquor during the Yawar Fiesta, a ritual fight between the condor and the bull, held in the mountains of Apurímac, Peru. A Peruvian peasant drinks liquor during the Yawar Fiesta, a ritual fight between the condor and the bull, held in the mountains of Apurímac, Peru.
An Andean condor fights against a wild bull during the Yawar Fiesta held in the mountains of Apurímac, Peru. An Andean condor fights against a wild bull during the Yawar Fiesta held in the mountains of Apurímac, Peru.

Yawar fiesta

Cotabambas, Apurímac, Peru – July 2012

The Yawar Fiesta (Feast of Blood), an indigenous tradition which dates back to the time of the conquest, consists basically of an extraordinary bullfight in which three protagonists take part – a wild condor, a wild bull and brave young men of the neighboring communities. Long time before the feast, a condor is trapped in the high mountains, using a dead mule or horse body to attract him. The catchers usually take advantage of the moment when the condor eats too much so it is too heavy to fly away. The captured condor is then driven towards the village and the peasants perform dancing ceremonies in its honor. The bird is given meat, chicha (fermented beverage made of corn) and it is religiously kept.

Within the scope of the fight, a condor symbolizes the native inhabitants of the Andes and a bull symbolically represents the Spanish invaders. At the principal day of the feast, the condor, a sacred bird venerated by the Indians, is tied in the back of the bull which is carefully selected for its strength and pugnacity. The condor attacks with its beak againts the bull's back, ears and eyes while the bull is shaken violently trying to get rid of the condor. Young boys, chasing the fighting animals, wish to show their courage in front of the community. Although the Indians usually do not allow the animals to fight for a long time (death or harm of a condor is interpreted as a sign of misfortune to the community), some young men often got injured or gored by bull horns. On the last day of the fiesta, another ceremony, accompanied by music and dancing, is held in order to release the condor.

Add comment

no comments yet