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Posts Tagged ‘girls’

Late yesterday afternoon in Teotitlán del Valle — along with village officials, church committee members, 200 unmarried young women, Danza de la Pluma Promesa 2016-2018 dancers, players of the traditional teponaxtle (drum) and the chirimía (small oboe), pyrotechnicians, and two bands — children gathered.

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Boys came holding carrizo poles topped with mini marmotas (fabric globes), sheep, turkeys, giraffes, airplanes, and other images whose significance escapes me — though this year Quetzalcoatl made an appearance.

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Little girls came wearing miniature versions of the traditional red wool enredo (wrap skirt) and embroidered or crochet blouses.

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They assembled in the atrium of the church for the start of the *convite (special kind of procession) honoring the Preciosa Sangre de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo, the patron saint of the village and whose image, attributed to Oaxacan painter Miguel Cabrera, resides in Teotitlán’s church.

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The procession wound its way from the atrium, through the principal streets (mostly cobblestone) of the village, and back to the atrium — approximately two miles (3.2 km)!

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Giving a group of boys long poles has the potential for high jinx, but most was limited to clever ways to evade overhanging tree limbs.

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The littlest girls were beginning their years long conditioning in order to develop the arm strength needed to hold a canasta (basket) above their head for over an hour — SO much harder than it looks!

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And, there were boys in the band — some already affecting a cool “Blues Brothers” look.

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This was just the beginning of the festival — there will be the danzantes performing the Danza de la Pluma, fireworks (including toritos and castillos), and another convite.  So, stay tuned for more to come.

*Convite:  According to Harrap’s Spanish and English Pocket Dictionary, convite means reception.  Larousse Standard Diccionario translates convite to “invitation” or “banquet.”  And, if one turns to Google or Bing translation programs, a convite is a “treat.”

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Late afternoon on Good Friday (Viernes Santo), the people began gathering along the sidewalks of the Andador Turístico (aka, the Alcalá), Allende, and Garcia Vigil, staking out a favored spot to watch the Procession of Silence.  Not to worry, the Girl and Boy Scouts were there to keep everything and everybody in order and to remind one and all to “please, keep silent.”

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And, lest you misbehave, there were a couple of drones hovering above the fray to record the action, both good and bad, and offering an interesting juxtaposition against Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán’s colonial architecture — the old and new of Oaxaca.IMG_1083

Daylight Savings Time hasn’t yet begun in Mexico and the setting sun offered dramatic light as Señor de La Columna emerged from Santo Domingo to take his place in the procession.IMG_1074

However, the light was fading fast as the high-pitched tones of the chirimía and the rhythmic beat of the tambor at last heralded the start of the procession and Señor de la Humildad y Paciencia made his way from Templo de la Preciosa Sangre de Cristo.IMG_1110

As darkness fell, the street lights proved challenging and my photos of the 50+ religious banners, as they slowly passed my vantage point on Allende, left a lot to be desired, except for this littlest of standard bearers.IMG_1156

This year the faces of Jesús and María seemed to be lit from underneath and that helped a bit.IMG_1172

However, perhaps the darkness was whispering to me to stop making photos and just “be” with the experience.IMG_1189

This was the thirtieth year of Oaxaca’s Procesión del Silencio and so I suspect there will many more to come.

 

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A few Viernes Santo (Good Friday) favorites from the morning’s encounter between Jesús and María in front of the Cathedral.

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Faces that have become familiar.

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Tomorrow, December 12, is  el Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, aka, Queen of Mexico, Empress of America, and patron saint of México.

Legend and belief has it that in, “1525, only four years after the conquest, the Aztec Quauhtlatoatzin was baptized by a Franciscan priest, who named him Juan Diego. Six years later, on December 9th, Juan Diego witnessed the first appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe. She told him she wanted a church built on Tepeyac Hill and told him to communicate her wish to the authorities.  Mexico’s first Bishop, Juan de Zumárraga, didn’t believe him.”  She appeared to Juan Diego three more times and with her last apparition, “she asked him to go gather some flowers: roses, which had never grown there, much less in mid-winter.  He wrapped them in his ayate or tilma, a sort of coarsely woven cape, and the Virgin told him not to open it until he was before the Bishop. When Juan Diego opened the tilma in front of Bishop Zumárraga, the roses cascaded out and they discovered the image of the Virgin imprinted upon it. ”  Thus, her iconic cloak we see in paintings and statues.

In Oaxaca, her fiesta began on December 2 and will end with a mass at 7 PM on December 13.  Today, little boys of the city, dressed as Juan Diego, and little girls, in the traditional traje (costume), were brought by parents (and grandparents) to the Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (at the north end of Llano Park), where they waited patiently in long lines to enter the church to be blessed.  Once they exited, fifteen (más o menos) “Guadalupe settings” designed and constructed by photographers and their assistants, vied for pesos for portraits.

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By the way, there was a reward awaiting the little Juan Diegos and his sisters —  rows upon rows of food stalls, carnival rides, and puestos selling toys, Santa hats, Christmas lights.

Tomorrow, I’m off to Teotitlán del Valle for their traditional Virgen de Guadalupe performance of the Danza de la Pluma.  And, did I mention yesterday’s national Day of the Clown festivities?  Stay tuned…

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On this day honoring one of the most revered icons of Mexico, the Virgin of Guadalupe

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The city of Oaxaca’s children are dressed as little Juan Diegos and their peasant sisters.

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They are brought to the Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe at the north end of Llano Park.

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Here they and their parents wait patiently in a line that rings the church.

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They are waiting to enter (via the door with a large banner marked, “entrada”) the church and be blessed.

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Once they exit (via the door marked “salida”), there are photographers waiting, with burros and panoramic scenes, to take commemorative photographs — for a fee.

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The sun is hot, the lines are long, and sometimes it’s long past nap time.  By the way, there is also a carnival (with rides and games) and puestos upon puestos of food; the religious and secular meet.

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