Find Your Folklife – Arturo Amaya
The Tunantada is a dance/drama…
…with traditional masks, costumes, and choreography that express the union of the Spanish and native cultures that followed the colonization of Peru. This tradition is celebrated in January during the Feast of San Sebastian and San Fabián that takes place in the city of Jauja, my hometown in Peru.
I learned to perform the Tunantada as a boy growing up in Jauja. It’s a group dance with each of the characters doing different steps to the rhythm of the music. I learned by watching my father and other relatives and have shared it with my family and friends since moving to Las Vegas. It has helped us to keep a feeling of community.
I founded the Las Vegas Peruvian Cultural Heritage Association and over the years we have participated in parades, festivals, and many other events. We like to get together every year to celebrate the Fiestas Patrias commemorating Peru’s independence from Spain on July 28-29.
—Arturo Amaya, Las Vegas Peruvian Cultural Heritage Association, Henderson