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The Whirling Mujeres

The Whirling Mujeres - Photographer Vanessa Burrowes

"The Whirling Mujeres"
Location: Puno, Peru
Date: October 2018
Photographer: Vanessa Burrowes
University Affiliation: Alumni
Home Country: United States
Category: Arts and Culture
Award: Honorable Mention

"Living and working in Puno, Peru for 2 years, it was pretty hard for me to avoid witnessing the seemingly daily street festivals that take place throughout the main city streets. In the buildup to Puno Week, (celebrated the first week of November to commemorate Manco Capac, who, according to folklore, rose from nearby Lake Titicaca to found the Inca Empire), the streets become alive with reveling dance troupes and Andean altiplano music practicing their routines. I was having lunch at a cafe right above the main street Calle Lima when this particular dance troupe spun through my view from the window. My first thought was how alike the shapes of the dresses were to those I had seen in videos of the Sufi Whirling Dervishes. I loved the symmetry and motion simultaneously captured in this picture by the spinning pleated skirts, repeatedly fanning out and retracting again as the ladies whirled and spun their way down the walkway to the tempo of the Sikuri music that followed closely behind them."