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Ritual Dance Huaconada 2024

It is more than okay to receive a few lashes from the Mayor of Mito for a happy New Year

Ritual Dance Huaconada
Ritual Dance Huaconada

Dancing has always been a part of every culture, used to express emotion, celebrate, and honour some events. In the Peruvian village Mito an old dance Huaconada is performed only once a year to distinguish the most honourable man of the community and to welcome the New Year.

On the first three days of January, the streets of Mito in the central Peruvian Andes receive new visitors who are eager to watch this unique performance. The most honourable man of the community gets dressed in a traditional costume and carved wooden mask, which radiates power and strength. Their dance moves can be either planned and distinct, or spontaneous. The "Huacones" represent the authority of Mito. During the performance, they are surrounded by younger huacones, whose costumes are more colourful and masks resemble terror or grieving. The whole huaconada is accompanied by local indigenous drums called "tinya."

As the event takes place on the first days of the year, everyone can be called by a huacon. If you are lucky, you should say "Happy New Year Mr Mayor" and receive several lashes in response. All huacones carry whips, so even whip duels can happen occasionally.

Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin