It's that time of year again, when Oaxaca gives the month of July over to the Guelaguetza. There is a long-running report on that here. Since I took so many pictures of the inaugural parade of the delegations yesterday afternoon, I'm giving that its own report. Well, not so much report as a bunch of pictures I took as I moved through the groups forming up for the parade, then snapped as they all went by. We'll start with a tiny taste of the dancing. The parade pauses as each group dances and they continue that as the whole procession moves blocks and blocks through the streets of the city. This clip is only 20 seconds long, but in fact they danced in that spot for over 10 minutes ~
A sit-down strike?
I was touched by this. One group must have decided to honor the US by featuring planes from our revolution of 1776.
These extravagant and heavy basket creations are held on the heads of women. They don't just hold them up for ages, they dance with them ~
Wouldn't you know it! This afternoon the dogs and I walked back to the plaza shown in this report's pictures, and there were all the groups above gearing up for more of the same. Fear not, I took no pictures. I wish you all could have seen Darla, though. She tried to steal one of those furry mouth coverings that the rag-covered men use. It was lying on a piece of cardboard near the rag guys and looked a great deal like a cat that had recently become road kill -- I swear, complete with insects. She wanted it in the worst kind of way and managed to grab it on her second try. I know it was one of the mouth coverings because a woman there yelled, "She's got the mask!"
I can understand why Frida Kahlo liked to wear colourful local costumes. Even the plainest women and girls look good it them, and the more decorative and embroidered the better. So much more flattering than t-shirts and tight jeans.
It must have been awful to dance with those furry face masks on. They look creepy and must be awfully warm too.
Kerouac, I'll inform Mexico that you've been cherry-picking through its culture and get back to you when they do something about it.
Bjd, I think their gorgeously warm complexions have something to do with it, along with the confident pleasure they take in that dress. I guess the furry masks are meant to look off-putting, but yeah -- furry leather over the face and the body covered with heavy layers and layers of fabric is my idea of abject misery. Maybe the fact that the ability to aguantar is a virtue here explains the cheerful donning of heavy and even dangerous (stilts) costumes and the ability to keep dancing past the point of tiredness.
Mossie, I'm guessing that it's a reference to gift-giving at large parties. Turkey is a prized meat and very often figures as the meat served with mole on special occasions. I'm guessing that about parties because he's also carrying hierba de borracho/drunkard's herb (Satureja macrostema), a mint-scented herb that is sometimes present at parties. It makes a tea considered a cure for hangovers. I have a very old thread that's rather ravaged because of the format change by our host forum and by evil photobucket. In it you can see hierba de borracho used as table decoration and also carried by people dancing. There is also dancing with turkeys! Hierba de borracho is featured in the 2018 day of the dead thread on page one, with lively men carrying both mezcal and the cure for drinking too much of it.
Edited to say I didn't see this until after I posted my answer to Mossie. Good one, Mick!
re: good time ~ as I headed over to the staging area with my camera, I was kind of wondering if I had the right enthusiasm since, as you know, I've photographed this kind of thing so many times before. As it turned out, I realized as I headed home afterwards that I was smiling, smiling, smiling and had been for some time. The joy and pride the participants have is most infectious.
re: orchestrating ~ there were some young people in discreet official t-shirts who would do things like ask people in the crowd to step aside and let a parade contingent through. But there were no raised voices, no bullhorns, no rope barriers or any such thing. There was lots of milling around, as you can see, but then suddenly the parade just started, all in order.
Fabulous as ever. So much colour , so much fun. I think I may have posted a similar comment in your previous threads Bixa but yet again but my anxiety kicks in when I see the baskets with fireworks attached. Have I imagined this or do some of the hats have fireworks too Bixa ? What is the significance of the grasshopper so much so that it became the emblem do you know ?
I don't know for a fact that there are fireworks hats, but it wouldn't surprise me.
Also can't say precisely why the grasshopper is such a symbol here. Even though there are other places in Mexico where grasshoppers are eaten, I think it's mostly associated with Oaxaca. It's possible that back in pre-columbian trade days, it was know as the place to go for the prepared grasshoppers. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapulines