LA PAZ — Under a bright, highland sun, Esther Rodriguez became the talk of La Paz when her delicate good looks and sartorially splendid attire, complete with derby hat and layer-cake skirt, won her the city's beauty contest for indigenous women. The episode spoke of a little noticed but significant trend in Latin America's most indigenous country - a new generation of indigenous women, urban and professionally ascendant, who honor the customs of the past but embrace modern Bolivia, Western dress and all. The clothing of highland Indian women - the pollera, the 19th-century European hat and the silky shawl known as a manta - have long been a curious sight in Bolivia and Peru. Tourists trekking through the Andes are as charmed by the colorful skirts and brightly colored hats as by colonial towns and the rugged mountains where ancient Indian civilizations thrived. The custom is a throwback to colonial times, when the Spaniards who ruled here required the Indians, after a series of uprisings, to abandon their traditional dress clothing and wear the garments then popular in Spain. The practice continued even after revolutionaries overthrew the monarchy, evolving in accordance with the fashion style of the day.
Bolivia Miss Cholita | Buy Photos | AP Images | DetailView
Fashion Week Australia: Jets showcases futuristic take in high-fashion swimwear collection. Naomi Campbell, stars own runway to walk for cause at Fashion For Relief. Models adorn traditional designs at Pakistan Fashion Week. Menu e-Paper Age on Sunday.
Mariela Molinedo, winner of the Miss Cholita Pacena pageant, a popular Bolivian beauty contest for Andean indigenous women, holds up her winner's plaque in La Paz July 13, Molinedo was stripped of her title moments after her coronation when judges of the pageant, which seeks to instill pride in indigenous women who choose to wear the traditional dress of wide skirt, bowler hat and long plaited hair, noticed she was wearing false plaits, organizers said on Saturday. Picture taken July 13, LA PAZ Reuters - The winner of a Bolivian beauty contest for indigenous women was stripped of her title moments after her coronation when judges noticed she was wearing false plaits, organizers said Saturday.
Judges strip pageant winner of title amid doubts she is a genuine Cholita Pacena. Would tighter gun laws help protect African Americans or make them more vulnerable to racism and police brutality? A daughter's tribute to the father who never recovered from his war wounds.