Site menu:



The scene of the wilancha: Qilqata Chapel.

A wilancha is an Aymara blessing ceremony.  In this case, the blessing was for the preservation work on half dozen colonial era chapels the U.S. Government was funding.  The wilancha is carried out by sacrificing an animal.  The ceremony is accompanied by a celebration including a feast, music and dancing.  Tatyana and I attended this wilancha at Qilqata Chapel on October 3, 2012.


Each of the guests at the wilancha approaches the sacrificial animal to ask its forgiveness and blessing.


The yatiri, or Aymara shaman, faces the llama across the offering table.


Notice the members of the local military establishment. There is a mountain battalion located in Curahuara de Carangas, and their officers came to the wilancha.


Everyone had their turn at the offering table.


The most important offerings are always alcoholic beverages and coca leaves.


Father Gabriel Antequera, the local parish priest, and I contribute to the offering. Father Gabriel was the local leader and was central to making the preservation project work.


After the ceremony was over, it was time for the festivities.  As is usual on the altiplano, the festivities consisted of eating, drinking, music and dancing.


The band. Every town has its own.


The kids, of course, are always the best (and cutest) dancers.


This girl was a real pro, and she knew it.


And Bolivians are always very patriotic.


They were having so much fun.


Finally the adults get their turn.


I’m no great dancer, but I always have fun dancing.


I love her aguayo (shawl).


Tatyana ended our visit by giving the kids some school materials. As you can see, they were very happy.




Pingback from Larry Memmott's Blog » Qilqata Chapel
Time February 15, 2016 at 10:12 pm

[…] was the site of the Wilancha, the spectacular Aymara ceremony for blessing the work that was done to restore all these […]

Write a comment

You need to login to post comments!