The roots of the Caporales dance go back to the Saya, an Afro-Bolivian rhythm from the region of the Yungas and in the Tundiques, where the indigenous Aymaras imitated the Saya. In the course of this, the so-called Caporales, who were colonial foremen, appeared and became the basic element for this popular dance. Due to the dance’s young age, it is open to changes and different interpretations. As en example, the costumes are continuously modernized and tend to follow fashion trends.


This dance has developed from war dances of the indigenous population from the region called Gran Chaco, which is the homeland of the ethnic community Tobas. They were known for their fearlessness in war. The dance appeared for the first time in the 20th century at the carnival of Oruro and rapidly became very popular.