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News > Bolivia

Bolivia's Ch'utillos Becomes Intangible Heritage of Humanity

  • Women dancing at the Ch'utillos festival in Potosi, Bolivia.

    Women dancing at the Ch'utillos festival in Potosi, Bolivia. | Photo: X/ @cgtnenespanol

Published 7 December 2023

This festival includes dance performances and a procession to the Mullu Punku gorge sanctuary.

On Wednesday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the Ch'utillos festival as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


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"Ch’utillos, or the Festival of San Bartolome and San Ignacio de Loyola, is celebrated in Potosi, in August... It is characterised by gastronomic fairs, dance performances and a procession to the sanctuary located in the Mullu Punku gorge," UNESCO explained.

In Potosi, parishioners and musical groups take part in the Ch’utillos dancing parade and are joined by rural communities wearing traditional clothing.

"Some travel up to 200 kilometres to reach Potosi, from towns bordering Argentina, contributing their traditions and oral expressions to the dancing parade. Dance groups from other Latin American countries also join the festivities, transforming the streets of Potosi into a platform for cultural exchange," it added.

The text reads, "UNESCO declares Potosi's Ch'utillos festival as intangible cultural heritage of humanity. 'We have to feel proud because we have one more heritage nomination for Potosi,' Governor Marco Copa said."

"A symbol of faith and tradition, the Ch’utillos festival is part of the cultural heritage of the Indigenous Q’ara Q’aras nation, marking the beginning of the preparation of the land and a new agricultural cycle, with offerings to Pachamama (Mother Earth)," UNESCO stated.

So far, UNESCO has recognized 16 intangible cultural heritages in Bolivia. Among them is the Oruro Carnival and the "Andean cosmovision" of the Indigenous Kallawaya doctors.

Bolivia intangible cultural heritage also includes the Ichapekene Piesta festival, the Pujllay and the Ayarichi – two demonstrations of ancestral music and dance from the Yampara culture dedicated to rain and the dry season.

Additionally, the Alasita festival, a fair of miniature wishes, and the San Roque festival of Tarija have received the UNESCO recognition.

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