The tinku is one of South America's more unusual festivals and almost certainly the most violent. Indigenous communities (or ayllus) in the remote rural regions of northern Potosí department in Bolivia meet for a series of ritual fights and brawls. These battles have ancient origins and took place to settle disputes, fix boundaries and also serve as a show of strength and to uphold the honour of the community. Fatalaties are frequent (though less numerous now than in the past); blood split and deaths are seen as offerings to Pachamama (Mother Earth) to invigorate the soil. The largest and most accessible of these fights takes place in the village of Macha at the start of May, when it coincides with the Catholic Fiesta de la Cruz (Festival of the Cross). This festival also celebrates the end of harvest, villagers perform llama sacrifices, dance and take wooden crosses dressed in traditional ponchos to hear mass on behalf of the community in an unusual fusion of Catholic and pre Columbian beliefs.