The 2011 AAA Photo Contest is a showcase of anthropology at its best. Of the 93 photos submitted, AAA members selected their favorites in each of the four categories: Practice, People, Place and Process. You can view the top 20 photos in Anthropology News. Here on the AAA blog, we will feature several of the photos in a blog series, Photo Friday.
Title: Capac Qolla Dancer, Qoyllur Rit’i Pilgrimage
Photo Courtesy of Andrea M Heckman
Contest Category: Practice
Caption: The annual pilgrimage of Qoyllur Rit’i is sacred for people living around 20,800′ Ausangate peak in Southern Peru. Groups of supporters, called a comparsa, hike 3,000′ with the dancers carrying huge candles, costumes, food, musical instruments, and large crosses among other ritual objects. The dancers perform for up to one week in frigid alpine temperatures where they become the mythical characters they portray. Capac Qolla means “rich merchants” and these dancers have ornate costumes they prepare for one year. Ukukus, or the mythical bear characters stand all night on the glacier to have the honor to bring down a large chunk of ice to melt and drink with their dance groups.
Missed last week’s photo? Click here.