Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Catamarca Poncho Festival and Traditional Folkloric Dancing

This past week Catamarca sponsored a Poncho Festival for a week.  They sold many artisan items from wood to leather to knitted items to TONS of jewelry featuring their rhodochrosite, which is mined in the Catamarca province/state, toys, flutes and other music instruments, items from metal and so forth.  It was delightful looking at everything.  We attended a folkloric dance program with a family we've been working with as 5 of their 7 children participated in it.  A couple weeks before that we attended a program featuring Margarita Palacios who was a Catamarcan woman, born in 1911, who performed in the Buenos Aires area for many, many years.  She sang using the dialect of this area and, as you can imagine, they're extremely proud and honored for what she did for the province.  She died on July 9th, Argentina's Independence Day, and they honor the death date, not the birth date of people.

Inside the foyer were displays of Margarita.  She was known as Margarita de los Valles.  The full name of Catamarca is San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca and there are many valleys (valles) throughout this region.

A girl from our ward, Daiana (pronounced Diana) Cruz was one of the dancers.  Her aunt, Ada Aguirre, and her niece, Tamara, were there to enjoy the program.  Ada and Antonio Aguirre are very involved in raising Daiana.
Yolanda Castro is in the Young Women's presidency and came to support Daiana. 

At the Poncho Festival these young men were one of the groups performing (not with the family we went to support) and we loved it and wanted to share it with you.  Their fancy footwork is truly amazing.  They're dressed as gauchos - Argentine cowboys - and we saw many groups performing this dance, which is called El Malambo, but this group was truly outstanding.  Enjoy!!

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