The sound of drums attracts me to the window. The streets are filled with people, choked with colourful costumes, a brass band and flotillas. An effigy of a golden figure sits, draped in white robes on one of the trucks. There is a grand Incan, dressed to the nines, golden torque around his neck, followed by his queen, sweeping down the street, pausing only to greet passersby.
This is La Paz, where spiritual healers sell spells in the streets, and you can pick up remedies made from dried starfish or llama fetus on your way back from dinner. The cobblestones here are the territory of the vendors who hawk pure, soft silver, bright textiles and warm alpaca wool, all local products.
This is La Paz, and I have no idea what the fiesta is about, but the colour, energy and movement is enough to hold me spellbound for long minutes as the brass band strikes up a tune. They play as they walk down the street, and behind them, groups of women in pink and blue follow, twirling as they dance to the music. They are dressed in traditional outfits, complete with bowler hats.
From above, the ladies resemble spinning tops, as they turn, round and round, down the street, their skirts flying out in bright pops of movement and colour. The dance goes on, past the window, and the Incan and his queen follow with the band and I lose sight of the dancers, still whirling round, down the streets of La Paz.
This post brought to you by A-Word-A-Week Challenge from A Word in Your Ear. Every week, Skinnywench will dip into her old Oxford English dictionary, and pick a random word to blog about – either a picture or a story that best captures the meaning of that word. This week’s word: “Round.”