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Posts Tagged ‘Danza de los Rubios’

I love the carved masks worn in many of the traditional dances in Mexico and, thus, made a bee-line to the current exhibition at the Palacio de Gobierno, Máscaras de Juxtlahuaca — part of the month-long celebration of Guelaguetza.

Most of the masks in the show are the work of  Alejandro Guzman Vera, a native of Santiago Juxtlahuaca in the Mixtec region of Oaxaca.  He was born in 1972 and, as a young child, made his first mask of cardboard and painted it with crayons.  At age 12, he carved his first wooden mask.  He went on to study at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas and has become one of the premier mask-makers in Mexico.  He has exhibited world-wide and is one of the honored Grandes Maestros del Arte Popular de Oaxaca, profiled in the book by the same name.  By the way, he is not only a mask-maker, but also an accomplished musician and is playing a role in the rescue of the traditional music of Juxtlahuaca.

(Click on an image to enlarge it and to enable a slideshow.)

Dancers from Santiago Juxtlahuaca will be performing the Danza de los Rubios in the morning Guelaguetza presentation on July 27 and will, no doubt, be wearing masks, cracking their whips, and jingling their spurs during the Procession of Delegations on the preceding Saturday.  For a glimpse at the Danza de los Rubios and to get a feeling for some of the music Alejandro Guzman Vera is involved in saving, here is a snippet from last year’s Guelaguetza performance:

Masks are donned not only for the Danza de los Rubios, but also for the Danza de los Diablos and the Danza del Macho, which are performed at various annual festivals in the region.  Once carved and painted, the wooden masks can be embellished with glass eyes and real animal teeth and horns of bulls, goats, or deer.  They are an amazing sight to see!

The Máscaras de Juxtlahuaca exhibition at the Museo del Palacio in Oaxaca city closes August 28, 2015.

(This blog post is especially for you, Jane and Ken!)

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Three weeks from today, despite the Never-ending tale of the velaria, the 83rd annual Guelaguetza performances on Cerro Fortín commence.  Yikes, was it really almost a year ago that one of my childhood BFFs and I walked up the hill to the auditorium to revel in the music, costumes, dances, view, fireworks, and all-around conviviality of festivities?  There is always so much going on during the last two weeks of July, that I only got around to posting a few photos from that evening.  Today, and for the following two Mondays, I’m going to attempt to remedy that.  Better late than never!

The delegation from the Cañada region of the state, Huautla de Jimenez, danced to Sones Mazatecos…
IMG_4701IMG_4707IMG_4708The dancers from Santiago Juxtlahuaca, in the Mixteca, performed the rip-roaring Danza de los Rubios…
IMG_4778P1010286IMG_4785And, from the Istmo de Tehuantepec region, the beautiful women and dashing men from Ixtepec presented Vela “Esmeralda”…
IMG_4717IMG_4724P1010283IMG_4759IMG_4761That’s all folks!  But, more to come next Monday.

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