‘Cholitas’ vie for title
Dressed in long skirts, embroidered shawls and bowler hats, 17 indigenous women vied for the title of Cholita Pacena 2013. The beauty contest held on Sunday in La Paz was won by Delia Gutierrez, a 28-year-old rice and noodle vendor in a market in the capital. In the contest, held every year in the capital, contestants dance to folkloric music and answer questions put to them by a jury. The head of La Paz’s Office to Promote Folklore and Popular Arts, Nicolas Huallpara, said the purpose of the contest is to preserve the identity of the traditional La Paz chola. Cholita — indigenous women who wear traditional bowler hats, pollera skirts and embroidered shawls — now regularly anchor TV newscasts in the country.
Performer dies in fall
A Paris-born performer in Cirque du Soleil’s Ka died after a fall during a show in Las Vegas. Sarah Guyard-Guillot was pronounced dead late on Saturday night at a hospital after falling about 15m from the show’s stage. Witnesses told the Las Vegas Sun that the accident occurred near the end of the production on Saturday night at the MGM Grand. Dan Mosqueda of Colorado Springs told the newspaper that the performer was being hoisted up the side of the stage when she slipped free of her safety wire and plummeted into an open pit. Cirque officials said they were “deeply saddened” by the death and that performances of Ka have been canceled until further notice.
Murder suspect found dead
A man suspected of killing six members of his family, including two children, was found dead on Sunday after apparently committing suicide, investigators said. Prosecutor Guy Etienne said he believed the man, named as David Ramassamy, was the husband of one of the victims and the father of the two children, aged 10 and 12, who were shot dead. Police launched an appeal for the killer to turn himself in after the murders on the outskirts of the town of Petit-Bourg on Saturday. Ramassamy, a member of a gun club who was a shooting champion and fond of hunting, was found on Sunday with a gunshot wound to his head, a local source said. The director of a local security firm, Ramassamy was “known to police,” Etienne said, without providing further details.
Medalists praise libraries
Richard Ford and Timothy Egan, winners of literary medals presented by the American Library Association, both credit libraries for making their work possible. Ford and Egan are this year’s recipients of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence for the best works of fiction and nonfiction. Ford was cited for the novel Canada, narrated by the teen son of bank robbers. Egan won for Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, a biography of photographer Edward Curtis, who compiled an encyclopedic archive of North American Indians. Egan, a prize-winning author and a reporter for the New York Times, said in a recent interview that libraries were a vital part of his research for the book. Curtis, who died in 1952, had compiled a 20-volume set of his Indian photographs. Few copies exist today, but Egan managed to look through the pictures at the University of Washington library in Seattle. Ford recalled that he grew up down the street from a Carnegie library in Mississippi. His mother would leave him there at times, considering it a safe place for a child. “I got an introduction there to what books were, why books were important,” Ford said.