These amazing looks are brought to you courtesey of the Takanakuy fighting ceremony from the Peruvian state of Chumbivilcas. The roots of this rather brutal ceremony reach back to the Andes’s pre-Spanish, pre-Incan history as a way of settling grudges without a real active police force. Villagers and townspeople from the region bring their built-up grievances from the past year into the fighting ring each Christmas Day (of all days) and duke it out.
The costumes are meant to be intimidating and original. They involve knitted ski masks, stuffed animals and leather boots and chaps. They often use symbols and regional styles and invoke animal spirits. Part Mad Max, part WWF, it sure looks like one heckuva way to spend Christmas.
Article from Vice Magazine: The Fashion Issue, March 2012, vol 10, no 2. Photos by Lele Saveri