Mamita Candelaria

Aristóteles Barcelos Neto

Every year, during the month of February, the city of Puno in Peru performs the intense and expensive cycle of celebrations to Nossa Senhora da Candelária, or Mamita Candelaria, which is carried out by more than 200 groups of dances divided into two broad categories: Autonomous Danzas and Danzas of Light Costumes. Dance, Mamita's favorite devotional form, is said to be the founding experience of "history" and its most complete narrative mode, a type of embodied history. An extensive set of ritual characters dramatize a synthesis that recalls the subjects (Andean gods, African slaves, pre-Inca indigenous peoples, among others) who left their mark on pacha (space-time) through their callpa (effort, work). These characters produce, through their dances, a direct link between Mamita and the multitude of non-dancing devotees. This essay presents images of the parades and processions focusing on the fiftieth anniversary of the famous Morenada group Rey Moreno Laykakota, celebrated in 2012.