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Members of the all-female skate crew ImillaSkate in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The athletes put on polleras, skirts historically worn by Bolivia’s indigenous Aymara and Quechua girls, once they skate at tournaments. “Many women who see us skating really feel proud to see us dressed [this way],” says skater Fabiola Gonzales. “Even our personal households really feel proud we’re displaying our traditions.”

Luisa Dörr


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Luisa Dörr

Members of the all-female skate crew ImillaSkate in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The athletes put on polleras, skirts historically worn by Bolivia’s indigenous Aymara and Quechua girls, once they skate at tournaments. “Many women who see us skating really feel proud to see us dressed [this way],” says skater Fabiola Gonzales. “Even our personal households really feel proud we’re displaying our traditions.”

Luisa Dörr

Irrespective of the place skaters are on the planet, you may seemingly discover them carrying dishevelled denims and light T-shirts.

Not so for this all-female skate crew in Cochabamba, Bolivia. They pair their Vans sneakers with their mother’s and grandma’s polleras — colourful, layered skirts worn by the nation’s indigenous Aymara and Quechua inhabitants.

And so they’re not simply doing it for the style. The crew — referred to as ImillaSkate (imilla means “younger lady” within the Aymara and Quechua languages) — wish to pay homage to their heritage and name out the persecution that the Aymara and Quechua folks, majority ethnic teams in Bolivia, have lengthy confronted. Throughout Spanish colonial rule, land in Bolivia was taken from indigenous folks, leaving them impoverished and marginalized. Over time, many ladies in these teams deserted their cultural costumes to keep away from discrimination.

“By skating in polleras, we wish to present that women and girls can do something, regardless of the way you look or how folks see you,” says Daniela Santiváñez, who based ImillaSkate with two buddies in 2018. “The message is to be your self and be pleased with who you’re.”

Skateboarding is a giant a part of that. “It teaches you confidence, self-love, to rise up from falls — and to be genuine, too,” she provides.

Skater Huara Medina Montaño, 24, teaches a fellow skater’s mom the way to experience a skateboard.

Luisa Dörr


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Luisa Dörr

Skater Huara Medina Montaño, 24, teaches a fellow skater’s mom the way to experience a skateboard.

Luisa Dörr

Award-winning Brazilian photographer Luisa Dörr, who found the younger girls on Instagram, captured their vibe in a sequence of intimate portraits taken over two weeks in September and October 2021.

“I used to be fascinated by their ardour for his or her tradition and the necessity to protect it,” says Dörr. “Skating was simply the excuse to deliver up different points.”

The 9 crew members, most of their 20s, meet frequently to observe. It is particularly necessary to them to put on conventional costume at public occasions like competitions and tournaments.

“At first, I used to really feel somewhat awkward” about carrying the pollera whereas skating, says ImillaSkate member Susan Meza. However now, she provides, she understands “the thing of doing it and I really feel extra snug and free.”

Here is a range from Dörr’s picture sequence.

Crew members skate in Pairumani Park on the outskirts of Cochabamba — one among their favourite spots due to its magnificence.

Luisa Dörr


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Luisa Dörr

Crew members skate in Pairumani Park on the outskirts of Cochabamba — one among their favourite spots due to its magnificence.

Luisa Dörr

Skater Luisa Zurita, 32, wears her grandmother’s conventional pollera skirt whereas her grandmother kinds her hair. “We costume like this to advertise the acceptance of our [indigenous] tradition inside Bolivian society,” says fellow ImillaSkate member Huara Medina Montaño. “Dressing [this way] symbolizes power, safety, magnificence.”

Luisa Dörr


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Luisa Dörr

Skater Luisa Zurita, 32, wears her grandmother’s conventional pollera skirt whereas her grandmother kinds her hair. “We costume like this to advertise the acceptance of our [indigenous] tradition inside Bolivian society,” says fellow ImillaSkate member Huara Medina Montaño. “Dressing [this way] symbolizes power, safety, magnificence.”

Luisa Dörr

Left: Deysi Tacuri Lopez, 27, will get her hair styled by Joselin Brenda Mamani Tinta. Historically, indigenous girls in Bolivia put on their hair in two lengthy plaits. Proper: A element of the coiffure. “Pollera girls give further significance to their hair,” says Joselin Brenda Mamani Tinta. Her grandmother instructed her that brushing hair removes unhealthy vitality.

Luisa Dörr


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Luisa Dörr

Left: Deysi Tacuri Lopez, 27, will get her hair styled by Joselin Brenda Mamani Tinta. Historically, indigenous girls in Bolivia put on their hair in two lengthy plaits. Proper: A element of the coiffure. “Pollera girls give further significance to their hair,” says Joselin Brenda Mamani Tinta. Her grandmother instructed her that brushing hair removes unhealthy vitality.

Luisa Dörr

Luisa Zurita began skateboarding in 2016. At first, her household did not approve of her participating within the sport. However they modified their minds after her grandmother noticed Luisa skating on a TV program. When she realized it was her granddaughter’s ardour, her grandmother gave her the blessing to maintain skating.

Luisa Dörr


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Luisa Dörr

Luisa Zurita began skateboarding in 2016. At first, her household did not approve of her participating within the sport. However they modified their minds after her grandmother noticed Luisa skating on a TV program. When she realized it was her granddaughter’s ardour, her grandmother gave her the blessing to maintain skating.

Luisa Dörr

Daniela Santiváñez, 25, is the co-founder of ImillaSkate. She says the group’s purpose is to “develop” the game in Bolivia and advocate for “extra areas to observe so we are able to take part in sports activities tournaments around the globe as different athletes do.”

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Luisa Dörr

Daniela Santiváñez, 25, is the co-founder of ImillaSkate. She says the group’s purpose is to “develop” the game in Bolivia and advocate for “extra areas to observe so we are able to take part in sports activities tournaments around the globe as different athletes do.”

Luisa Dörr

Left: Skater Miriam Estefanny Morales, 23, at La Cancha market within the metropolis of Cochabamba. Along with the pollera skirt, she wears a standard hat as a part of the indigenous girls’s apparel. Proper: Members of the crew have a look at braided hair extensions at La Cancha market.

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Left: Skater Miriam Estefanny Morales, 23, at La Cancha market within the metropolis of Cochabamba. Along with the pollera skirt, she wears a standard hat as a part of the indigenous girls’s apparel. Proper: Members of the crew have a look at braided hair extensions at La Cancha market.

Luisa Dörr

Deysi Tacuri Lopez, her mom and her aunt at their house in Cochabamba. “My mom has a saying: I used to be born carrying a pollera and I’ll die carrying one,” says Deysi. “I stick with it her perception. I really feel snug as I’m, carrying a pollera.”

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Luisa Dörr

Deysi Tacuri Lopez, her mom and her aunt at their house in Cochabamba. “My mom has a saying: I used to be born carrying a pollera and I’ll die carrying one,” says Deysi. “I stick with it her perception. I really feel snug as I’m, carrying a pollera.”

Luisa Dörr

This skate park is one other favourite place to observe. The athletes say the view is superb, and the park is calm as a result of it is from town.

Luisa Dörr


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Luisa Dörr

This skate park is one other favourite place to observe. The athletes say the view is superb, and the park is calm as a result of it is from town.

Luisa Dörr

Left: ImillaSkate athletes showcase their matching sneakers. Proper: Deysi Tacuri Lopez wears the medals she gained from skate competitions in Chile and Bolivia. She began skating 7 years in the past.

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Left: ImillaSkate athletes showcase their matching sneakers. Proper: Deysi Tacuri Lopez wears the medals she gained from skate competitions in Chile and Bolivia. She began skating 7 years in the past.

Luisa Dörr

María Belén Fajardo Fernández, 21, is a physiotherapy pupil and the youngest within the group.

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María Belén Fajardo Fernández, 21, is a physiotherapy pupil and the youngest within the group.

Luisa Dörr

Ellinor Buitrago Méndez, 25, says that carrying the pollera whereas skateboarding sends the message to girls that they will do no matter they like whereas preserving who they’re.

Luisa Dörr


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Luisa Dörr

Ellinor Buitrago Méndez, 25, says that carrying the pollera whereas skateboarding sends the message to girls that they will do no matter they like whereas preserving who they’re.

Luisa Dörr

Ellinor Buitrago Méndez wears a pollera and a standard hat. Fellow skater Medina says “among the ladies inherited their polleras from their moms and grandmothers,” however every lady kinds them in another way in keeping with their very own private style.

Luisa Dörr


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Luisa Dörr

Ellinor Buitrago Méndez wears a pollera and a standard hat. Fellow skater Medina says “among the ladies inherited their polleras from their moms and grandmothers,” however every lady kinds them in another way in keeping with their very own private style.

Luisa Dörr

The ladies dance at Pairumani Park on the outskirts of Cochabamba. “We’re all distinctive and our variations make the world such a wealthy place,” says Daniela Santiváñez. “We must always respect everybody for who they’re. We wish to present how lovely Bolivia’s tradition is.”

Luisa Dörr


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Luisa Dörr

The ladies dance at Pairumani Park on the outskirts of Cochabamba. “We’re all distinctive and our variations make the world such a wealthy place,” says Daniela Santiváñez. “We must always respect everybody for who they’re. We wish to present how lovely Bolivia’s tradition is.”

Luisa Dörr

Grace Widyatmadja and Ben de la Cruz picture edited this piece.



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