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Posts Tagged ‘Dance of the Old Men’

Well, actually, they came, they saw, and they set the village straight.

IMG_3378_desat

Stay tuned…

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In my last blog post, I mentioned Teotitlán del Valle does not go on Daylight Saving Time.  And, they are not alone!  As the article, Clocks don’t change where sun keeps time, most of Mexico didn’t adopt DST until 1996 and given the autonomy guaranteed to indigenous communities, “70% of the entire indigenous population of Oaxaca” have chosen to follow the sun — the “King of the Sky.”

Ojala, blogger buddy Chris (who doesn’t change his watch to DST either) and I will be returning to Teotitlán del Valle for the final day (into night) of the Baile de Los Viejitos, (the Dance of the Old Men) this time hosted by el quinto (5th) sección.  However, before we go, a few more scenes from Tuesday’s fiesta, put on by the segunda (2nd) sección.Viejito with cane

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I say, “ojala, ” because several marches and blockades are currently in progress throughout Oaxaca and on the carreteras into and out of the city.  Alas, the video I shot on Tuesday of the Baile de los Viejitos may be as close as I come to the dancing action until next year.

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2 viejitos, nose to nose

Tête-à-tête between Viejitos (I know, I’m mixing languages), seen between the shoulders of two municipal leaders, on the Municipal Plaza in Teotitlán del Valle during this year’s previously mentioned Carnaval.

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True confession:  I’m not in Oaxaca!  I arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area a week ago for a 3-week visit.  While I love seeing family, friends, “my” mountain (Mt. Tamalpais), and the Pacific Ocean, it also means bone-chilling summer fog, driving instead of walking most everywhere, and the absence of my regular blog fodder — no calendas, ferias, festivals, saints days, bandas, and urban art.  (Though, I will probably head to San Francisco for the latter!)

However, this break-in-the-action gives me time to look back through thousands of photos and create posts that had been put on the back-burner when something bigger, better, or more timely cropped up.

3 viejitos

So, here we go, back to Friday, April 24, 2014 — the last of five days of Carnaval in Teotitlán del Valle.

Chihuahua

While there are masks, costumes, men dressed as women, and merriment, this is not your Christian pre-Lenten Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras Carnival.

Man wearing female mask, wig, and clothing

This is a pre-Hispanic celebration that happens the Monday through Friday after Easter, not before Lent.

Close-up of viejito

Via El Baile de Los Viejitos (the Dance of the Old Men), it brings the community and elected leadership together to remind each of their social contract — in an extremely humorous way.

Young viejito

A procession, gathering participants along the way, leads to the Municipal Plaza, where it seems as if the entire village assembles.

2 elderly women watching Dance of the Old Men

And, of course, the dance and ritual continue late into the night…

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