The mystery of an Angel

Gabriel

Gabriel

A couple of days ago I saw this photo of mine on a friend’s wall and it brought me back to the memory of why I took this picture. It was the mystery of the angel’s demeanour : he seemed to be in a different reality, so involved was he in his own ritual.

It was during a yearly festival in La Paz that I chanced upon him with thousands of other dancers.

If you wish to ‘participate’ in the festival of Gran Poder, please view this e-book: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/47368164/granpoder/index.html

Gran Poder: a colourful festival

Gran Poder book cover

It is difficult to imagine a cultural event such as the festival represented in this book if one has not previously witnessed a similar  Andean religious/folkloric manifestation. What catches the eye is the abundance of vivid colour as the groups dance their way down from the streets on the hillside  to the commercial centre of the city of La Paz in an organised and relentless fashion, singing to the sound of wind instruments, cymbals and large bass drums. The parade begins early in the morning, at about 6:30 with the votive offering to the Ancestors to end past midnight. There were about 40,000 participants representing 16 types of dances when I witnessed this event.

The origin of the celebration of Jesus of The Great Power dates back to December 8, 1663, with the foundation of the convent of the Immaculate Conception and sister Genoveva Carrión who brought the image of the three-faced Jesus representing the Holy Trinity. Interestingly enough Pope Benedict VI banned this image in the XVIII century.

There is much to be said about this cultural event: the modality of Andean faith,  community spirit, the Ayllu concept, etc. etc.  but perhaps this is not the place to expand.

This e-book can be found at: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/47368164/granpoder/index.html (the reader might take a little time to load…. please be patient)

Imágenes Paceñas

Imágenes Paceñas

Imágenes Paceñas

Para los hispano-parlantes (English text below) : el libro recientemente publicado de Imágenes paceñas  en su tercera edición.

Esta edición está siendo entregada a cada alumno de  secundaria en La Paz, gratis, por la Alcaldía paceña.

Esta version es en forma  de libro digital (e-book):

Imágenes Paceñas

For those that appreciate a bit of Latin American literature and culture, this book: Imágenes Paceñas refers to the city of La Paz it’s traditional places and people. The text was written by an outstanding author and luminary of Latin American literature: Jaime Saenz. (This Wikipedia article is not complete but will give you an idea of his character).

This third edition was sponsored by the municipality of La Paz and is being given to every high school student for free to enhance their appreciation of their city.

This link will take you to the book in an e-book form. There is no present English translation I am afraid, but at least you can look at the pictures:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/47368164/imagenespacenas/index.html

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