350 Indian Couples Wed In Mass Ceremony In Bolivia

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Bolivia's President Evo Morales, bottom left, delivers a speech during a traditional Andean Indigenous mass wedding in La Paz, Bolivia, Saturday May 7, 2011. Some 350 couples participated in this event, having the possibility to choose the wedding godfather, according to an ancient tradition, who this time was Morales. (AP Photo/Juan Karita) | AP

LA PAZ, Bolivia — About 350 couples in Bolivia have been married according to Indian customs and traditions in a colorful Andean mass wedding with President Evo Morales presiding as best man.

Saturday's ceremony was held at a colosseum in La Paz, the capital, that was adorned with large white flowers and indigenous banners. Several bands serenaded the couples.

Indian religious leaders presided over the wedding as did symbolically Pachamama – the earth deity of the Aymara and Quechua races of Bolivia's highlands Indians.

And Morales gave a speech to the couples, who crowded the arena's floor wearing multicolored native ponchos and hats.

Before the ceremony, each couple married in a civil ceremony.

(This version CORRECTS spelling of Pachamama.)

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