The dance is performed in the Herrera province on the S.W.Pacific coastof Panama by individuals of Spanish descent generally at religious carnivals in urban areas. The origins of the dance can be traced back to Spain and are possibly even pre-Christian.
The dancers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, the centre of this activity is in Chitre, fourth largest town of Panama and provincial capital of Herrera. They number around seventy and unfortunately seem to be on the increase Costume consists of a "boilersuit" made up of red and black 20mmwide strips of cloth in a chevron pattern, an extremely elaborate papier mache mask and of course a headdress consisting of ten to thirty Macaw tail feathers,red being the most highly prized. I estimate it would need at least five hundred hours work to complete one of these outfits. Some are self made, others are made by professionals. Children also participate usually using wing feathers. The tradition is deep rooted and well respected locally and nationally.
Category: Mask tradition
Added on: Nov 17, 2002 | Hits: 898
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