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  • Danza Sarawja: Circling Through Histories

    Behind every great dance is a rich and complex history. The danza Sarawja, presented at the 2015 Folklife Festival, exemplifies the mix of Spanish and pre-Inka traditions in Peru. In the Moquegua Region of the southern Andean highlands, the Tixani Valley communities inherited many pre-Inka traditions, but, as a result of the Spanish conquest, these traditions changed and survived in other ways.

    Over time, these communities developed artistic expressions, such as the Sarawja, that were based in this colonial heritage to represent their own mestizaje (mixed) cultural identity. Ricardina Maria Catacora Quispe graciously informed us about the dance’s origins and her personal passion for maintaining her ancestors’ dance.

    Interview, editing, production: Marisol Medina-Cadena
    Videography: Charlie Weber, Kevin Trower, Evan M., Pruitt Allen, Albert Tong
    Translation: Marisol Medina-Cadena, Laura Melissa Vega Meza, Caroline Gil

    Marisol Medina-Cadena is video production intern and currently studies film and digital media at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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