Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Natural Beauties?

Traditional scenes? Models get sexy on the beach near Tayrona Park.
A few years ago, a controversy arose over a plan to build a luxury hotel in Tayrona Natural Park, because, presumably, it would defile the already less-than-pristine park. The hotel was never built.

Bats played an important role in
Tayrona culture. A Museo
 Nacional guide said the animals
 were believed to protect young
 girls from incest. 
So, why isn't anybody objecting to the Aviatur and Viva Colombia's new calendar featuring babes in bathing suits posing on Tayrona's beaches? (And forget about anybody protesting against marketing Colombia by showing off its sexy women - even as the government campaigns against human trafficking.)

The Tayrona Park region is known for its beaches and jungles and particularly the trek up to the Lost City, built by indigenous people beginning around 650 a.d. and abandoned during the century after the Spanish reached South America, as Europeans diseases devastated native peoples. The 'Lost City' was rediscovered in the 1970s by Colombian archeologists, altho local people surely had always known about it.

The so-called Lost City is actually only one of many towns in the region, which is now inhabited by three indigenous peoples, the Wiwas, Koguis and Arhuacas - none of whom walk around in bikinis.

Altho Tayrona does have a nude beach, the area's culture has lots more to offer than scantily-clad women. Here are some pictures from an exhibition in the Museo Nacional in Bogotá.

A meeting of mamo in Ciudad Perdida.

Tayrona pots. 
Foundations of Tayrona homes near Ciudad Perdida.
A Tayrona house. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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