Festival in Oruro (Bolivia)


This photograph shows a group of dancers in elaborate costumes in a band at the Carnival of Oruro in Bolivia. The carnival, which takes place every year, lasts ten days and features examples of popular arts in such forms as masks, textiles, and embroidery. The main event is the procession or entrada, in which the dancers walk the four-kilometer processional route repeatedly for a full 20 hours without interruption. In 2001, UNESCO proclaimed the Carnival of Oruro a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS Charter, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the pursuit of common goals and respect for each other’s sovereignty. Since then, the OAS has expanded to include the nations of the English-speaking Caribbean as well as Canada. The predecessor organization to the OAS was the Pan American Union, founded in 1910, which in turn grew out of the International Union of American Republics, established at the First International Conference of American States in 1889-90.

Last updated: September 22, 2014