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expand Artist: Rene Cadena Ayala
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My name is Aymara and I'm from the Highlands of Bolivia. Farming and mining have always played an important role for us. In our mining areas there is a creature which is called Supay in my language - or also - from Spanish - Diablo. This so described devilish creature is the Lord of the underworld, the entrails of the earth. Where Diablo lives, who is mainly given the respectful name "El Tio", that's where the wealth is that we human beings are digging for. But the Lord of the underworld is watching over his treasures and every year is asking for sacrifices, sometimes for the lives of people, for taking his riches off him. But "El Tio" is a creature of the Andes and therefore thankfully not only bad like the devil of Christianity, but also has his good sides. He likes those who make sacrificial offerings to him and show reverence for the power of the underworld and gives freely to them. A very special form of honour for our "Devil of the Andes" is to dance the Diablada for him. Here in Bolivia people still dance a lot of the traditional dances that not only vary in rhythm, but also require a variety of mainly lavish and artistic masks and costumes. I particularly like the Diablada from the mining town of Oruro which is danced there for the carnival.
The dancers masked as devils of the Andes are jumping and twisting with a joie de vivre that only people possess that risk their lives in the mine shafts every single day. My bear is also supposed to be full of joie de vivre, that's why I let him dance the Diablada. His costume has the colour of the centre of the earth - red - and the colour of wealth - gold and silver. His name is "Tio Jorge". I call him that in order to honour a friend, a mining engineer, who recently lost his life in an accident in a mining area.
René Cadena Ayala

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