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February 10, 2016 -- Each year thousands of Inca Indians — actually their descendants — gather for an annual brawl. 

That's brawl; not ball.

The weird annual tradition is a religious rite in which villagers gather in the town square and pound on each other. 

The event has occurred every year for centuries, we are told. Authorities and even the Catholic church have attempted to convince the Quechua Indians to discontinue the event, but to no avail. 

The Indians believe that the massive bar-room style brawl pleases the goddess Pachamama who will bless their harvest.

The objective, therefore, is to spill as much blood as possible. 

People believe strange things. 

This is the mass street fight where thousands of villagers aim to 'spill as much blood as possible' - for luck.

A British journalist was punched as he watched the bizarre ritual - known as The Machu Tinku - which sees men and women dressed in colourful clothes punch each other to please the local goddess Pachamama so she will allow a fruitful harvest.  

The fighting takes place in Macha, in the Andes mountains, Bolivia, and is considered a sacred rite of the Quechua Indians.

The centuries-old event sees thousands of Quechan, descendants of the Incas, gather from across the Altiplano region, in Bolivia.

During the ritual, one village circles another before the violence erupts.

The photos, which feature in the second edition of Union Magazine, which is now on sale, present a close-up look at the fighters.

Martin Pashley, 44, co-editor of Union, visited the religious event for the publication and described the fights between rival villagers as 'short but brutal'.

No jewellery or knuckledusters are allowed during the fighting and kicking is strictly forbidden.

Mr Pashley, of Nottingham, said: 'The Macha Tinku is one of the most sacred rites of the Quechua Indians.

'It is an annual event where thousands gather and fight to spill as much blood as possible, so that local Goddess Pachamama will let next year's crops grow.'

Attempts to ban the Tinku by local authorities and the Catholic Church have all failed as thousands of villages continue the tradition each year.

Only 30 police officers, armed with batons and tear gas, are there to control the crowds.

While watching the fight Mr Pashley, who was with a local guide, was punched by a local and hit by another villager with the butt of a whip.

He added: 'A panpipe starts up and the storm breaks out ferociously all around us.

'The first five minutes are a pure chaos of panpipes, Incas running around, screaming women, cops whipping people, a god-awful panpipe dirge and flurries of cocoa leaves falling through the air.

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