Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cultural Incongruity

This band, composed of indigenous people from Peru, performs often on Bogotá's plazas, such as here in Las Nieves. They play traditional music from the Andes - so why do they dress like Plains Indians from North America?

They do it for a simple reason: "We get more tips this way," a bandmember once told me.

He explained that a friend had shipped them the costumes.

Sadly, even native North Americans exploit these stereotypical images. I once visited an American Indian reservation in the Carolinas. In the souvenir shops - often owned by outsiders - they sold things decorated with images of the Plains Indians.

This little girl was moving to the music. 

Andean music CDs. I didn't see any Sioux music here. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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