|Dancing Morenada @ Dance Around the world, London|
The origin of the morenada goes back to the use of black [African] slaves
who were bought by miners to replace the indigenous mitayos who died
by the millions in the mineshafts of colonial Potosí. But hunger, thirst, the
cold, high blood pressure, insufficient oxygen, the rigor of the whip and of
forced marches were portents of a sure death… The richness displayed on
[morenada] outfits seems to contradict such expressions of suffering, but
the riches did not belong to those who carried the loads but rather to those
who owned them.
[They are] exotic outfits, highly ornamented, trimmed in
gold and silver, with precious stones and material brought from Milan, like
a show of the wealth with which the slaves were purchased.
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