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Scenes from the streets of San Martín Tilcajete during yesterday’s Carnaval craziness. “Color is descriptive. Black and white is interpretive.” – Eliott Erwitt

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Given that Oaxaca loves parades and processions (the numbers of Muertos comparsas and Guelaguetza desfiles seem to grow every year), yesterday the 1st Muestra de Carnavales de los Valles Centrales took over the Macedonio Alcalá walking street with costumes, devils, painted bodies, cowbells, bands, masked men, mezcal, and more. In an effort to promote tourism […]

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Día de Carnaval (aka, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Carnival), a day to let the good times roll before the sacrifices of the Lenten season, has come and gone.  And, again, blogger buddy Chris and I headed out to the surreal celebration in San Martín Tilcajete.  Driving into the village, one soon hears, rather than sees, […]

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Besides a mock wedding with men dressed as women, mentioned in my previous post, Carnaval (Carnival, Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday) in San Martín Tilcajete also means young men covered in motor oil (yuck!) and paint running through the village with belts of cowbells ringing. And, it means muchas máscaras de madera — in […]

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Among other highlights, Carnaval/Carnival in San Martín Tilcajete features a mock wedding, quinceañera, and beautiful fabulously dressed and accessorized “women.” The day before Lent in San Martín Tilcajete 2017.  As they say in New Orleans, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” Save Save Save Save

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A jester comes to San Martín Tilcajete… The Maladjusted Jester by Danny Kaye Your majesty, I have a confession My secret I must now betray I was not a born fool It took work to get this way When I was a lad I was gloomy and sad And I was from the day I […]

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Another day… another celebration… another adventure!  Yesterday was Día de Carnaval (aka, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Carnival), a day to let the good times roll before the sacrifices of the Lenten season. As you have probably surmised, the Spanish brought the tradition to Mexico.  Like many other seasonal celebrations, it conveniently coincided with indigenous festivals […]

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Congratulations to Coco — winner of the 2018 Academy Award for Original Song, “Remember Me” (“Recuérdame”), and winner for best Animated Feature Film.  Most of all, felicidades to all the bisabuelas (great-grandmothers) and abuelitas (grandmothers) who inspired the character of Coco with their strength, pride, and love. And, bravo to Guillermo del Toro (Best Director) […]

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Fathers of Oaxaca playing a leading role in introducing the next generation to the music, dance, and respect for the traditions of Oaxaca… Happy Father’s Day to all the loving fathers (biological and adoptive), stepfathers, grandfathers, godfathers, and father figures everywhere, may you continue to do what you do. ¡Feliz Día del Padre!

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Fat Tuesday (aka, Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras), the day before the 6+ weeks of Lent begins, means Carnaval in scattered parts of Mexico.  I was supposed to be spending it on the Costa Chica — where Spanish Catholicism meets Mixtec meets Amuzgo meets Chatino meets Chontal meets Zapotec meets Afro-Mexicano — a region with […]

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A friend (who shall remain anonymous) was persuaded to model the mask I gave one of my sons for Christmas. It is the work of Apolinar Sosa, the son of distinguished carver Jesus Sosa Calvo and Juana Vicente Ortega Fuentes of San Martín Tilcajete. This mask won a prize and had actually been worn during […]

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It’s been one year since the passing of maestro Arnulfo Mendoza Ruíz. To honor his life, an exhibit of works by his friends, colleagues, and family was inaugurated at La Mano Mágica on March 13, 2015. His older son, Gabriel Mendoza Gagnier, curated this amazing collection of paintings, weaving, and artesanía. Assisted by Arnulfo’s companion, […]

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Carnaval in San Martín Tilcajete means devils… Pirates and clowns… Unknown creatures from the imaginative minds of their creators… And these masterpieces from this village known for its wood carving… Carnaval in San Martín Tilcajete also means men dressed as women, a mock wedding, and young men covered in motor oil running through the village […]

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Tuesday, not only brought the previously mentioned Carnaval, San Martín Tilcajete style, it also provided comida, muy sabrosa.  No, not one of the 4 restaurants in Oaxaca recently listed in the 101 Best Restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean.  I’m talking about al fresco dining in a roadside restaurant.  Sitting under the branches of […]

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