For the beginning of the feast, the condor is captured, which is a difficult and time consuming process. The condor is a very cautious bird and only when it verifies that there is no danger does it descend on its prey. Then the villagers come out of their hiding place and, hoisting their ponchos as nets, begin the pursuit of the bird, which cannot fly in such a narrow space. The capture of a strong and brave bull is also done, although this is a relatively simpler process.
The condor is ceremoniously taken to the village, since this is a historically sacred animal, and there its wings are adorned, it is given aguardiente to drink and is fed very well for what comes next. Already in the ceremony, the condor is put on the bull's back and is tied there in some rings that it has, and the two animals try to free themselves during this ritual, the bull tries to free itself from its torture and becomes more furious. At that moment the capeadores enter to confront the bull and also the condor. The liberation of the condor is overwhelming, as it advances to the edge of the mountain, opens its enormous wings and launches itself into space.
If during the ceremony the condor is badly wounded or dies, it is taken as an announcement that something very bad is going to happen in this community.
The Yawar Fiesta, which in Spanish means "The Feast of Blood", is an old cultural tradition that has been celebrated since colonial times in many regions of the central highlands of Peru. Although in the course of the present century it has suffered a process of decadence, disappearing from numerous towns and places.
The best known story about the origin of this festival says that, due to the suffering of the commoners by the gamonales. It is a symbolic representation by the people. Where the gamonal is represented by the bull and the commoners by the condor.
The Yawar Fiesta is celebrated in the last days of July every year.
This festival is celebrated in the town of Ccoyllurqui, province of Cotabambas, Apurimac Region.
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