In a small village in the Arequipa region of southwestern Peru, children perform a Peruvian dance called the Wititi. It’s one of the most important cultural expressions in the Colca Valley, where the Collaguas and Cabanas peoples live. These inhabitants are descendants of pre-Inca communities who have lived here for 2,000 years.
The Wititi dance is seen at religious and civic festivals during the raining season, usually danced by young people. Some say it was a courtship dance, where males dressed as females in order to be able to talk to their sweethearts, without getting in trouble from their parents. Others say it has a military origin, and the cross-dressing was done to fool the enemy.
Regardless, today this Peruvian dance is performed by females dressed in traditional clothes of embroidered skirts and vests that signify their district, while the males wear two overlapping skirts and a hat that has tassels hanging over their faces. The dance has been on the Representative List of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2015.
Watch below as children perform the Wititi dance before they go to school.