Photos taken during Carnival in Tilcara (northern Argentina) in 2010.
Related series: Carnaval de Humahuaca (Argentina).
Carnival in the Andes mountains is a mix of precolombian pagan rituals and traditional Christian Carnival.
During Carnival festivities in the Andes mountains (e.g. in northern Argentina), people drink and dance to the music of marching bands in the streets, mostly in the evening and at night.
Local traditions include throwing white talk powder, spray foam, throw serpentines and confetti's to the face of others, covering the face of friends with paint (red, blue or green water-paint), having basil leafs on their ears (basil is an edible aromatic plant).
The destination of Carnival parades is often an Apacheta, which is a stone mount that is a shrine to Pachamama (Mother Earth). Then people dance around the Apacheta and cover it with offerings like coca leaves and alcool. Sometimes an indigenous Shaman performs an offering ceremony at the Apacheta.
During Carnival, many young men are wearing very colorful Devil costumes covered with mirrors , with a mask hiding their face. Women dancing with a devil will often hold their tail. At the end of Carnival, the are ceremonies to bury the Devils until the next Carnival, when they are unburied again. Those Carnival Devils (Diablos Carnavaleros) are part of an old local pagan ritual.
For more information about the Carnival in northern Argentina, read es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnaval_en_Argentina (in Spanish).