Female wrestling takes Bolivia by storm

A new phenomenon has been taking Bolivia by storm in recent years: female wrestling. The women don traditional costumes, including a pleated, layered skirt, a bowler hat, shawl and pigtails, and put the WWE to shame: AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images Although legend has it that some indigenous women of the Aymara people, called ...

594780_080603_cholitas2.jpg
594780_080603_cholitas2.jpg

A new phenomenon has been taking Bolivia by storm in recent years: female wrestling. The women don traditional costumes, including a pleated, layered skirt, a bowler hat, shawl and pigtails, and put the WWE to shame:

AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images

AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images

A new phenomenon has been taking Bolivia by storm in recent years: female wrestling. The women don traditional costumes, including a pleated, layered skirt, a bowler hat, shawl and pigtails, and put the WWE to shame:

AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images

AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images

Although legend has it that some indigenous women of the Aymara people, called Cholitas, have been wrestling for up to 20 years, the trend has only recently reached a critical mass. In 2007 a 20 min. documentary called “The Fighting Cholitas,” was entered into several International Film Festivals, including the United Nations Association Film Festival. And in January the women, led by Carmen Rosa a.k.a. “The Champion” and Yolanda Amorosa a.k.a. “The Loving One,” formed an association of women wrestlers, which organizes practices twice a week and matches every Sunday.

The Federation’s founder, Carmen Rosa, explains the connection between women’s equality and women’s wrestling  in a not-to-be-missed BBC news video:

Because we Cholitas have been humiliated and very discriminated [against] in the past. That is what mostly drove me to be a fighter. I also wanted to show people, not only in Bolivia, but around the world, that women can do what men do and still be an indigenous woman.”

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