About the Literary Contest
This micro-fiction contest was organized by the group of digital activists “Quri Q’intisitus” in order to learn about the cultural practices of the carnival festival in the different regions of Bolivia. Our goal was also to encourage speakers to write in their native language. The micro-stories had to be written in Quechua, with a maximum length of 150 words. Likewise, participants could use grammar in a creative manner according to their linguistic skills. The most important point was to transmit what they know about their culture in an easy, natural way. Thus, with great joy we received micro-stories from various communities in the country. The customs represented in the stories were so plural that some of us did not even know about them. In this regard, the selection of the two winning stories was an arduous and complex task. The prize for first and second place is the stories’ publication in Latin American Literatures Today. In this issue we publish “Munasqaypaq Carnavalin” by Yovana Gabriel (first place), and “Paquma” by Ramiro Vega (second place).
Noemy Condori Arias
Translated by Christian Elguera
Aureliaqa awilitallaña wasinman chayapusqa.Tuta p’unchay purisqa wasinman, almawan kacharichikuytawanqa.
Chayantapiqa carnaval fiestaqa ruwakun musuq qhari runa wañusqasllapaq. Kay fiestamanqa astwanpis jovenes tropa tropa lluqsinku sapa ayllusninkumanta waq aylluskama. Kay uj tropapi, Aurelia, uj alaja imilla tanitani t’ikitajina, tususpa chayasqa Greogorio Jayllitaq carnavalninman. Chayllamantaq ashkha tropas chayamusqanku. Ajinapi Aureliaqa riqsisqa uj k’acha, manchhay k’ancharishaq lluqallata. Aureliaqa paywan manchhayta tususqa takisqa.
Tutatañaqa, lluqallaq tropanqa ripushasqaña. Ajinapi Aureliataqa nisqa, jaku ripuna tajnaman munasqay. Jinapi Aureliaqa suwachikusqa. Sut’iyamusqa ch’isiyamusqa ni mayk’aq tajnamanqa chayasqankuchu. Lluqallaq chakisnin q’alataña t’ujtakapushasqa purisqankupi. Chaymanta Aureliaqa —samarikuna nispa nisqa, uj awilitaq wasinman chayaytawan. Lluqallaqa jawallapi puñusqa. Awilitaqa qhawariq lluqsimusqa, chaypitaq uj yuraq kallapullata rikhusqa lluqallaq puñunanpiqa. Kutiykuytawan imillaman nisqa waway almallawan purikushankiqa. —Salvaway ari, nisqa Aureliaqa. Chaymantataq, awilitaqa nisqa, q’aya jaqay jatun mayuta pasashaspa chawpipi saqirpaytawan pasapunki, almasqa mana yakuta sapanku pasayta atinkuchu. Ajinata Aureliaqa ruwasqa. Munasqantaqa yaku apakapusqa paytaq manchharisqa qhipakapusqa.
¿Pitaq kay alma karqari? ¡Greogorio Jayllita kasqa nin!
Carnival of My Beloved
Aurelia was an old woman by the time she got home. She had walked night and day toward home, after freeing herself from that soul.
In Chayanta, the carnival party is carried out as an homage, just for the men who have recently died. Those who go to this party, mostly, are groups of young folks from different communities. At one such party, Aurelia, a beautiful young woman who looked like a tanitani flower, showed up at the carnival all done up in homage to the deceased young man, Gregorio Jayllita. Many other groups of young folks had shown up at that same place. And so, Aurelia had met a very good-looking young man, and she had danced and sung with him until she couldn’t any more.
At sunset, the good-looking young man’s group was ready to leave. Then he said to Aurelia, “Let’s go to Tajna, my beloved.” And so, Aurelia had gone with him. The sun had risen and set, but they had never gotten where they were going. The young man’s feet were falling apart from so much walking. Then, when they got to an old lady’s house, Aurelia said to the young man, “Let’s take a rest.” The young man had gone to sleep on the patio by himself. The old lady had gone out to look, but instead of seeing the young man, all she had seen was a dead man wrapped in white sheets. When she got back, very scared, she said to the young woman, “Child, you are walking alongside a soul.” The young woman, very scared, said to her, “Save me, please.” Then the old lady answered, “Tomorrow, when you’re crossing that river, you’re going to leave him right in the middle. Souls cannot cross the water by themselves.” Aurelia had done as the old lady said. The water had carried off her beloved and she had been scared witless by what happened.
And whose was that soul? It was Gregorio Jayllita’s!
Translated via the Spanish by Arthur Malcolm Dixon
Norte potosí suyupi, juk k’acha llajtitapi, runaqa kaypi, jaqaypi tusurishanku, takirishanku, ujyarishanku, mikhurishanku, pukllarishanku ima; tukuy Carnaval raymita sumaqtapuni napaykurishanku. Chay ukhullapitaq:
—¿Tata Martinpaq wirtanman jaku rina? Duraznitun ancha misk’ipuni ñinku.
—¡Mmm! Yaw, jaku.
Iskaynin lluqallasqa kachaykukusqanku wirtamanqa, jaqayman chayaspataq.
—¡Paqtataq rikhuchikuwaq, chakrita! Tata Martín chaypisina kashan, wasin ukhukamanta q’uchñi lluqsimushan.
—Ama llakikuychu yuqalla. Paqumapi kashanchik. Nuqa sach’aman wicharisaq, qamtaq q’ipiman winanki durasnu pasamususqayta.
—Yaw. ¡Apurakuy á!
Durasnu urqhuy achakipi yuqallas kashaqtinkuqa, chayllapi ujta uyarinku.
—¡Yuuuli! ¿Imata ruwashankichik yuqallas? Durasnuyta suwashawankichik. Kunitan yacharinkichik. ¿Piq wawasnintaq kankichik?
—Ama phiñakuychu tata Martín. ¡Paqumashayku á!
—¿Kunan p’unchay paqumañachuri?
—Ari tata Martín.
—¡Ah ya, ya! Jina kaqtinqa, allin pacha. Amataq chhikata urqunkichikchu á. ¿Ya?
—Kay juch’uy q’ipisitulla kanqa tata Martín.
—Pachi tata Martín.
Allinta sut’inyachispa tukuy imata, wirtayuq runaqa ruwanasninman rispusqa, yuqallastaq tumpamantawan imachus nisqankuman jina ruwasqanku.
—Q’ipi junt’aña, kunanqa jaku kay ura mayuman, chaypitaq yakupi sunt’iramuna, durasnunchiqta mikhuramuna ima.
—Ari chantataq ripusun.
—Ari. Jaku rina.
The Free Day
In the northern part of Potosí, in a beautiful town, people are dancing around. Everybody is celebrating, singing, drinking, eating, and playing here and there. They are enjoying the Carnaval party. Then, in that place:
—Let’s go to Tata Martin’s huerta. What do you think? People say his peaches are very delicious.
—Mmm! Yes, let’s go.
The two youngsters headed to the huerta and, once they arrived, this happened:
—Make sure nobody sees you in this area! It looks like Tata Martin is in the house, smoke is rising from his kitchen!
—Don’t worry, rascal! Today is the free day, the Paquma! I will jump in the trees, and you can put in the q’ipi all the peaches that I pass you.
—Yes. Hurry up!
The little rascals were collecting the peaches when, suddenly, they heard:
—Hey! What are you doing, rogues! You are stealing my peaches. Now you see what will happen! Which family’s kids are you?
—Don’t be mad, Tata Martin. Today is the free day.
—Is today the Paquma already?!
—Yes, Tata Martin.
—Well, well! If today is the Paquma, then you can continue. That’s fine. Just don’t take too many of my peaches. Okay?
—We only have this little q’ipi, Tata Martin.
—Thanks, Tata Martin!
After clarifying the events, the landowner returned to his activities and the rascals proceeded with their labor. They took the fruits according to Tata Martin’s request.
—The q’ipi is full. Now, let’s go downstream where we’ll swing and eat our peaches.
—Yes, and then we will go to the other side.
—Yes, let’s go.
Translated from the Quechua by Christian Elguera
Christian Elguera is a Lecturer in Spanish at The University of Oklahoma and a visiting professor at Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Lima, Peru). He has a PhD in Iberian and Latin American Languages and Literatures from The University of Texas at Austin. His research is concerned with the production and circulation of cultural translations by and about Amerindian peoples from the 16th century to present in Abiayala, particularly in Andean and Amazonian areas. His forthcoming monograph, Traducciones territoriales: defensoras y defensores de tierras indígenas en Perú y Brasil, analyzes poems, chronicles, radio programs, and paintings enacted by Quechua, Munduruku, Yanomami, and Ticuna subjects in order to defy the dispossessions, extermination, and ecocides promoted by the Peruvian and Brazilian States. Alongside his political interest in the struggles of Indigenous Nations, he researches the relationship between Marxism and the Peruvian Avant-Garde Poetry of the 1920s and 1930s. In this regard, he will publish the book El marxismo gótico de Xavier Abril: decadencia y revolución transnacional en El autómata (Ediciones MYL, 2021).
Arthur Malcolm Dixon is co-founder, lead translator, and Managing Editor of Latin American Literature Today. He has translated the novels Immigration: The Contest by Carlos Gámez Pérez and There Are Not So Many Stars by Isaí Moreno (Katakana Editores), as well as the verse collection Intensive Care by Arturo Gutiérrez Plaza (Alliteratïon). He also works as a community interpreter in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a Tulsa Artist Fellow.