Sunday, March 6, 2011

Explanation of traditions by Jenny with a little help from Wikipedia!

El Diablito antes de explosion! The Devil before the explosion!
During the Dias de los Muertos Celebration part of the fun was the blowing up of papier mache charactres such as El Diablo, La Bruja, La Ballerina, El Payaso etc (Devil, witch, ballerina, clown etc) that was filled with a few treats and trinkets. The fuse would be lit, children eagerly awaiting the explosion just a few feet away then a mad dash to retrieve the dust covered candy, body parts etc.....Of course this was done in front of the church AFTER the blessing of the horses so added to the excitement was the hilarity of the children scrambling through poop! We covet the body parts the kids retrieved and they are part of the color paper flower arrangement on our coffee table. When we asked the locals what this all means? Solamente para la diversión. Only for fun! Pobre diablito! Above "Smithereens" photo by local photographer- It's brilliant!!
Danza de Los Voladores de La Papantla, Veracruz (Dance of the Flyers) is a traditional dance from the pre-Hispanic period. According to Totonac myth, at least 450 years ago there was a severe drought that brought hunger to the people. The gods were withholding the rain because the people had neglected them. The ceremony was created, to appease the gods and bring back the rains. The tallest tree in the nearby forest was cut down, with the permission of the mountain god, stripped of branches and dragged to the village. The trunk was erected with much ceremony. The youths climbed the 30 meter pole and four jumped off while the fifth played a flute and drum.

Further unwinding and finally they reach the earth.

Little Mason Hillers fascinated with the toy Voladores

The cloth across the chest symbolized blood. The hat is adorned with flowers for fertility, mirrors represent the sun and from the top stream multicolored ribbons representing the rainbow. These costumes are made by the voladores themselves The four ropes are each wound thirteen times, which times four is fifty two, the number of years in a Mesoamerican solar cycle.The caporal then bends fully backwards to acknowledge the sun, playing all the while. The four voladores represent the four cardinal directions as well as the four elements: earth, air, fire and water. The caporal represents the fifth sun. The four voladores seated on the cuadro face the caporal and at the appropriate moment fall backwards to descend to the ground suspended by the wound ropes. As the ropes unwind, the voladores spin, creating a moving pyramid shape. As the other voladores descend the caporal plays the “son of goodbye” and dances on the narrow platform

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