August 11, 2009

Miss Peru wears Bolivian costume

Peru and Bolivia in a controversy over the Devil's dance

Isabel GuerraThe typical costume that that Karen Schwarz, Miss Peru Universe, is supposed to wear during the beauty pageant to take place in Bahamas on August 23rd, is causing at present a bitter controversy between Peru and Bolivia.

As soon as Schwarz announced that her outfit was inspired in a typical dance from Puno highlands called “La Diablada” (The Devils' dance), Bolivian representatives alleged that La Diablada “is an emblematic dance from Bolivian folklore.”

Bolivia claims that this would be an unfair appropriation of the Bolivian's cultural heritage.

Pablo Groux, Bolivian Minister of Culture, has reportedly sent a letter to Peru's National Institute of Culture (INC), expressing Bolivian's concern regarding to this matter.
Miss Peru--Karen Schwarz--Traditional CostumeDear Miss Universe Organization,

We are deeply concerned and disappointed that Miss Peru, Karen Schwarz and her committee has made the choice of presenting a traditional Bolivian costume as Peruvian.

Our government has sent letters of request to Miss Schwarz's committee of choosing a costume that will represent their country.

The costume that they have chosen to present in the Miss Universe event is a costume from a traditional dance from ORURO-BOLIVIA named "La Diablada" which is presented every year in the Bolivian Carnaval. We consider this "Diablada" costume as an icon of our carnaval.

In a proclamation in 2001 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has proclaimed “The Carnival of Oruro" as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. We consider that if UNESCO has recognized such an important tradition from Bolivia, then Miss Peru and her committee should do the same.
Miss Peru 2009 creates controversy in Peru and BoliviaWhat the Bolivian authorities are missing is that Indigenous traditions of the Andes and Amazon regions don't know about borders and nationalities.

At the same time, someone can explain why a woman from Lima wants to represent the Amazonian women, dressing a Native regalia from the Andes?
Some sexy pictures of Schwarz:

Karen Schwarz--Miss Peru Universe 2009
Karen Schwarz:  Miss Peru Goes To Miss Universe Beauty Pageant

Comment:  A couple points here:

1) Despite the fact that traditional Andean cultures don't recognize national boundaries, Bolivians think the Diablada dance and costume is primarily theirs. I'd say a Peruvian beauty queen should choose a costume that's unambiguously associated with Peru.

2) Schwarz could have a Native background, but Wikipedia says she's "of German origin." As far as I'm concerned, that means she shouldn't be wearing any Native costume, even if it's Peruvian.

For previous beauty-pageant controversies, see Pageant Contestant = Sexy Chief and Miss USA Dresses as Scantily-Clad Chief in Faux Warbonnet.


Anonymous said...

She's definately hot!

Anonymous said...

If she's of German origin, she is still representing Peru and must wear a costume representing Peru, which is a majority-Indian country (yes, even though mixed-bloods have assimilated to the Western culture largely.) So for her to wear a NON-Native costume would be insulting to the country, of which this is its heritage. The bigger issue, IMHO, is why they always choose European-looking women to represent these South American countries, when they are only maybe 10% of the population.