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La Tunantada, contributions from its history

It is a folkloric dance, transcendental and main of the celebrations of January 20 in Jauja-Yauyos (Junín), and the center of Peru, that dances in honor to the patrons San Sebastián and San Fabián, is one of the maximum expressions of the culture of the Mantaro valley, where the sympathetic rogues represent satirically and recall the different social classes of the colony in Peru by the Spanish Europeans.

This popular expression is also made in Lima, by the migrants who maintain their own traditions loaded with a very peculiar religious syncretism; even practicing it since very children.

According to history, Jauja was considered as a prodigious-magical place, where the different social classes, ethnic groups, and other cultures congregated to constitute the socio-economic system of the colony in the center of Peru, for that reason the diversity of personages and clothing in the dance. Likewise, this dance expression originated at the end of the viceroyalty and the beginnings of republican life.

It is known that there were dances previous to the Tunantada practiced by the Yauyos, mitimaes, who were transferred to Xauxa by the Inca Huayna Capac, among them: The Huanca dance, the Chunchada, and the Jergacumo; this last one comes from Huatrila (personage of the Tunantada), and of these they inherited many attires, that today are used in the dance.

La Tunantada is a parody that is made to those who visited Jauja, from different places in the interior of Peru, neighboring countries, particularly the Spaniards who always frequented; is a dance-theatrical imitation, where mockery and sarcasm becomes express.

The rogue by putting on the mask, the costumes and other clothes; he becomes the mythical character, characterized by his leading role, joins with his fellows to form his crews and go out in the streets attracting the attention and excitement of the audience.

Dance symbolizes power before the oppressed, the coexistence of social classes, from the vision of the patron, the Creole, mestizo, the Indians, and so on. in such a reason each dancer has its own characterization of a specific and unique character.


The Prince, also known as “The Spaniard”, a rogue and chapetón, represents the Hispanic, possessor of riches and high positions, his clothes is of luxury: he wears a mask of metallic mesh, wig of curls hanging, straw hat of baking special embroidered with a peacock feather, long sleeved silk shirt, knotted tie, fine alpaca bag, embroidered white silk scarf, vicuna fiber scarf, black leather gloves, embroidered shorts, high heels , a wooden or metal baton
The Chupaquina or Wanquita, represents the original lady of the nobility xauxa-huanca, lover or companion of the Spanish; his dance is fine, gracefully and smoothly, his dress is fine:

a metallic mesh mask, wavy black wig, vicuña wool hat, white veil, black woolen cotton, feathered with feathers and lace wraps , a squirrel-skin vest or vicuna hanging on the neck, there are many gold coins, silver and precious stones, a velvet-covered blanket covering the back, velvet sleeves of the same color as the blanket worn on the skirt, silk scarves of various colors, gold and silver bracelet, embroidered cotton skirt, nylon stockings, low heels, embroidery and drafts.

La Jaujina, represents the mestiza, the union of the original nobility and the Spanish, its dance movement is elegant and delicate. His costume: A metallic mesh mask, a typical white straw hat with velvet ribbon, long wigs, long gold and silver earrings, white veil, white monk, adorned with jewels, beads and sequins, jaujina blanket velvet, on it a ujshjata, a typical licilla, white lace gloves, white silk scarf, white fustanes, a black or brown skirt, nylon stockings, patent leather taco shoes.

El Chuto or watrila, represents the peasant Indian, who is at the service of wealthy nobles, carries a whip, is playful and mocking, are the buffoons of dance, with his refined and graceful dance. His clothing: white wool hat, white silk shirt, knotted tie, embroidered vest, black gloves, black embroidered trousers, wool stockings, long brown riding boots and a whip pota.
María Pichana and Viejito, are the advanced age class, delight with their jokes to the public, with peculiar movements.

The Bolivian or Jamille, represents the interculturality, is the herbage seller, heir to the healers, his wardrobe is extravagant: mask, loose hair wig, large silk scarf, white sheep wool hat with tricolor ribbon, white shirt long-sleeved, suit jacket, black leather gloves, small Bolivian-style poncho, two-compartment saddlebag full of products, white trousers, a vicuña scarf, black shoes.

The Argentine, personifies to the merchant muleteer, perhaps in nonfancy dress, by its long long journeys in the trip. His clothing: A metallic face, with a mestizo feature, long beard and mustache, loose or curly hair wig, blond or black, silk scarf to cover the head to the front, wide-brimmed straw hat, wool shirt, sack leather scarf, red silk scarf covering the neck, black gloves, trousers and brown riding boots with silver spurs.

The Cusqueña, represents the Quechua nation of Cusco, that also settled down in earth xauxa; his suit, hat, jacket, skirt, thongs and a candunga in his hands.
These and others are the characters, who emerged from the imagination and creativity of the Jaujeños, with their characteristic, satirical and joyous dance, invite the participation of the spectator people.

As for the costumes, all those made with a fine metallic mesh (Spanish, jaujina, wanca, boliviano, argentino, etc), and others coated with badana (chutos), wear hats, according to the characterization of the person, likewise , luxurious embroideries with colored threads, silver and gold, in skirts, skirts, jackets, and men’s trousers.

As for music, initially the dance was accompanied by musicians, who played with: violins, harps and quenas, today has been modernized, including clarinet and saxophone, grouping from 10 to 15 musicians.

This great cultural event has been declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation in January 2011, and the population is a sea that has declared as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

It is kept alive thanks to the practice of its inhabitants who transmit from generation to generation and the cultural associations of Tunantada that are scattered in several places of the Peruvian and foreign territory.

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