Fraternidad Cultural Pachamama, the Bolivian folklore group that marched in the Annandale parade and performed on the stage at the Annandale Festival last Saturday, has been performing all over the East Coast for the past 11 years.
Last April, the group won first place in an international Tinku dance competition in Madrid, Spain, where they represented the United States. On Sunday, the group took part in a Tinku competition at Freedom High School in Woodbridge.
The Tinku dance originated as a ritual fight in the Potosi region of the Bolivian Andes, says Reyna Barragon, the group’s vice president. Pachamama is the earth goddess, or Mother Earth, of the Inca people.
Fraternidad Cultural Pachamama was founded in Arlington in 2000, says Barragon who is originally from La Paz, Bolivia, and has lived in the United States for 42 years. The group has 100 members, including Barragon’s children, Isaac, age 8, and 11-year-old twins Marco and Ashley. It’s the oldest and largest of the Bolivian dance groups in the Washington region.
They practice twice a week in the Iglesia Santa Maria, an Episcopal church in Falls Church. All the costumes are handmade in Bolivia. The helmets worn by the men are made of cow skins, Barragon says, and the sandals are made of tires.