“Concurso de Tinkus” Highlights a Popular Bolivian Tradition

The Comite Pro Bolivia, a Metropolitan DC area organization celebrating 31 years of promoting and preserving Bolivian culture, held its annual “Concurso de Tinkus” this past Sunday evening at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on NOVA’s Alexandria campus.

The Tinkus cultural dance is a celebration of the Tinku (encounter). Tinku is a Bolivian Aymara tradition which began as a form of ritualistic combat. Large tinkus are still held in Potosí, Bolivia during the first few weeks of May. The history dates back to the Spanish conquistadors who made indigenous people their slaves.

Historically, men (and sometimes women) from different communities meet and fight in praise of Pachamama (Mother Earth), as the bloodshed is considered a sacrifice and enriches the soil to produce better crops.

This year’s champion was Tinkus Kaysur, a group out of Maryland.

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