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Posts Tagged ‘Santiago Juxtlahuaca’

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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After a visit to Centro Fotográfico Manuel Álvarez Bravo, I’m seeing the color of Oaxaca in black and white…

“To see in color is a delight for the eye but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul.” – Andri Cauldwell

 

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The sun is shining, but it’s cold.  With snow on the ground, I’m living inside.  I’m definitely not in Oaxaca anymore!  I’m outside of Saratoga Springs, New York.  Yes, I traded the land of blue skies, brilliant colors, warm temps, and open doors and windows, for ten days in the frigid, fifty shades of gray, northeast — but for the best of reasons, my grandson’s first birthday. However, I need my Oaxaca fix!  So, with a little time on my hands (nap time for baby) I am going through Noche de Rabanos photos.  And, these little devils, jumped out at me.  (Gosh, I have no idea why!) P1030666 These dancers portray La Danza de los diablos, a dance that is the result of a fascinating fusion of African and Sonoran rituals. P1030669 They are made of dried corn husks P1030668 and were created by Moisés Ruiz Sosa.  The detail is amazing! P1030667 La Danza de los Diablos de Santiago Juxtlahuaca won second prize in the 2012 Totomoxtle Decorado division. P1030670 Ooops!  The adorable little devil who melts this heart just woke up.  Time to do the crawling-around-on-the-floor dance.

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