you're reading...

Bolivia’s Women Wrestlers

Traditionally, women wrestling in Bolivia would be unheard of. But today, it is becoming more and more common for crowds trying to escape the realities of Bolivia’s harsh conditions.

El Alto is the foremost city for women’s wrestling. At bit’s largest public gymnasium, hundreds of people sit for hours and watch the seemingly endless array of women, performing dazzling feats of skill and strength.  Many of the women, mostly of Aymara descent, are edressed in the traditional fashion of the Andean highlands, including shiny skirts over layers of petticoats, embroidered shawls pinned with filigreed jewelry, and bowler hats.

A typical fight can include one woman swinging another into the ropes by the pigtails. Or whirling through the air, with braids and petticoats flying.

The sport in Bolivia has it’s own heros and villains, the goodies and baddies. The goodies are ‘tecnicas” and the baddies are “rudas”.

The show is run by Juan Mamani, and the cholitas (women wrestlers) are terrified of him. The women all have daytinme jobs, and the wrestling is only part time. But many of the women have almost cult-like followings.

Mumani, too, does the job part-time, when he’s not working in the elecrtical store he owns.  Though a fearsome and unfriendly man, who also wrestles, he has spent a sizeable proportion of his own money on the women’s wrestling.

And the crowds thank him for it.


About Craig Hill

Social Justice Campaigner, Writer, Teacher and Business Consultant. Lived in China and USA. Dealing with disability. My articles have been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and many other international publications. Please consider donating, to support our social justice campaign, by clicking on the "Donations Page" button in the top menu.


One thought on “Bolivia’s Women Wrestlers

  1. Why must we, women … do everything men do .. but so much worst – maybe this is an old tradition ???? But with all other fighting sports women have to prof to … who ever – most for themselves – that they can do it better then the men – or worst !

    Posted by viveka | March 8, 2012, 06:22

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 1,801 other subscribers

Kangaroo Education Services has nationally recognised Australian Business qualifications. Click here to find out more.

Kangaroo Education Services

Follow me on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: