Tinku Festival

Tinku Festival


"Tinku" is a festival in Bolivia where people beat each other for 2 or 3 days straight.


share Share

Tinku, a Bolivian Aymara tradition, began as a form of ritualistic combat. In the Quechua language, it means “meeting-encounter". During this ritual, men and women from different communities will meet and begin the festivities by dancing. The women will then form circles and begin chanting while the men proceed to fight each other; rarely the women will join in the fighting as well. Large tinkus are held in Potosí during the first few weeks of May.

The story behind this cultural dance is that long ago, the Spanish conquistadors made the indigenous people their slaves and set fights between men for the hacendados amusement. Pututu trumpets were used by the Indians in order to call for a Tinku encounter, as well as to assemble the peons when the hacendado required of their presence. Tinku dance costumes are colorful and decorative. Women wear a dress, abarcas, and a hat and men wear an undershirt, pants, jacket, sandals (abarcas), and hard helmet like hats. Even though the people were slaves, they loved to dance, and would often fight, but never really hurting each other.

Because of the rhythmic way the men throw their fists at each other, and because they stand in a crouched stance going in circles around each other, a dance was formed. This dance, the Festive Tinku, simulates the traditional combat, bearing a warlike rhythm. The differences between the Andean tradition and the dance are the costumes, the role of women, and the fact that the dancers do not actually fight each other. The Festive Tinku has become a cultural dance for all of Bolivia, although it originated in Potosi.


No 'B' Until Billion

If you were to write out every number (one, two, three, etc.), you wouldn't use the letter "b" until you reached one billion.

Read More
What Sparked the Need For Fingerprinting?

These two men look nearly identical, they had the same name, and they were sent to the same prison. Before imprisonment, they had never met. They are the reason why fingerprints are used to identify people.

Read More
Einstein Turned Down Israel Presidency

Albert Einstein was offered a presidential seat in Israel. He declined.

Read More
Safety Coffins

People were buried alive so often in the 19th century that inventors patented safety coffins that would give the "dead" the ability to alert those above ground if they were still alive.

Read More