Tarabuco: ancestral and traditional market (Bolivia)
Founded in 1572, the Quechua village of Tarabuco lies about fifty miles east of Sucre, the constitutional capital of the country. Located at the eastern boundaries of Bolivian Altiplano, it peaks at 3250 m altitude.
Its architecture is unparalleled. Here, there are non skyscrapers to disturb the harmony of the stones gilding by the sun, nor wise layering of red roofs and the clear and sober lines of the steeples of the city.
Today, it is known for its traditional market, one of the most typical of the continent and its people who have kept intact their wearable art and special features of their race, fine face and stature.
Its market, unchanged for centuries, offers an extraordinary range of products. The premises are buying or bartering, which is not the least of its peculiarities. There is also a great color palette that repeated symbolically degraded stripes blue, red, black and green bales large omnipresent men, women and children carry around on their backs.
It’s Sunday, it still dark and cold. The first Indians arrived in Tarabuco from nearby villages, sometimes separated by several tens of kilometers. The best locations are on the market at this price.
The representatives of Indian communities generally have only summary sandals, even their own bare feet, to go ahead and participate in weekly large Sunday appointment.
Tarabuco is primarily a market where they negotiate the livestock, mainly cattle. It also offers a large variety of fruits, vegetables, Andean cereals (principal agricultural village) and other food products.
Among them, the famous chicha (fermented corn) and the equally famous coca leaf, which in infusion or chewing, enhances the endurance at high altitude.
But the wealth of this market lies in the Indian handicrafts: pottery, musical instruments (including the charango, a small guitar with happy sound), but mostly weaves, clothing and woolens that have made the reputation of Tarabuco throughout Bolivia. Their salesmen are proud to explain that the weavers of the region are made in workshops, sometimes grouped themselves into community peasant associations regularly present at the market.
We must step into the old cobbled streets where the majority of stands and sellers are. Terribly congested, they are synonymous of enthusiasm, frenzy, even shoving. But, reflecting Indian culture deferential and a sense of community, this hyperactivity with a lot of discomfort expressed in a surprising silence.
No irritation or shouting, or shrug your whatsoever.
Moreover, unlike occidental markets in particular, there are rarely among the people present in Tarabuco, a clear separation between vendors on one side and customers on the other. Tactically organized in couples, families or clans, everyone here sells and buys, and we find ourselves in one or other side of the situations. A mutual respect and honesty govern the exchanges and transactions.
Fishpond cultural and social, the market plunges you well and truly into another world, another era: the places, rituals, costumes and the attest. Ancestral and traditional, it is an authentic and immutable popular gathering that holds the Quechua‘s identity, its valuing and sustainability.
It possesses, as heritage its own rules, and the Indians have no questions about of breaking or even consider changing them.