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and traveled by boat down the Nanay river to

MR: NO, no, not that one…. we created that

the Boraa settlements. The close proximity of Boraa migrant settlement to central Iquitos is the result of a growing economic dependency to the global market, where tourist activity is

one for tourists a couple of years ago. All of these are to welcome foreigners to our dance practices, or cultural activities … so they can see and participate.

the main source of income. The display of representational dances supersedes any other activity, including the selling of arts and crafts, as the leading money-maker. In fact,

CP: Are any of these dances danced outside of here? (the tourist settlement) MR: NO. In San Andres (where we live)... we have our own celebrations, but we don’t

the tourist boom (which started in the mid to late nineties) increased the demand for tourist outlets, creating new reasons for Boraa to migrate and settle. It was, therefore,

dance these. We dance socially, but not these. These dances are our heritage, but we don’t dance them anymore in San Andres. Maybe on the occasion, to show

no surprise that I was greeted with a dance specifically performed for tourists.

our children, but the practice of it is mostly done here. That is our income also. Noone else has this same tradition this style of dance. This is purely Boraa.

Dressed in traditional clothing, five dances were presented to me, none of them resembling la danza de la selva in the least. The dances were titled la danza de bienvenido, la del mono, la del lagarto, la del anaconda y de celebración (The welcome

CP: The tourist camp is part of your tradition as well... MR: Yes. Its good, we make enough money to sustain ourselves and we keep our

dance, of the monkey, of the lizard, of the anaconda and of celebration.)

tradition alive. Sometimes we make new dances. Its how we survive.

What meanings did these dances have for them? How is globalization (fast-paced

CP: What if dancing didn’t pay ... the purpose of dancing then...

tourism and related development) creating new traditions? What about la danza de la selva that represents them in the capital?

MR: Maybe not so often, I don’t know. I still would want my grandchildren’s children to learn it... even though it changes... sometimes, to make it better.

The following interview (2005) with Boraa Apu (leader) Miguel Mibeco Ruiz, also known as Lliihyo described the dances as such:

CP: What changes? How is that? MR: For tourists I see some dances change... not the steps, but the way the steps are done. More force, more energy, step on the

MR: These dances (the five shown) are centuries old, from our grandfathers, our ancestors .. all the way from the Putumayo River.

ground harder. Louder singing. Before it was softer...

CP: Even the “welcome dance?”

CP: Which one do you like better?

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The HotSpring Quarterly - Sept. 2012  

This publication represents the work of a community of thinkers, researchers, reporters, educators, innovators and committed change-makers,...

The HotSpring Quarterly - Sept. 2012  

This publication represents the work of a community of thinkers, researchers, reporters, educators, innovators and committed change-makers,...

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