The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

Click on an image to see it larger.
For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Monday, November 2, 2015

Muerteada in San Agustin Etla - 2015

This morning I made my annual pilgrimage, along with many others, to San Agustin Etla for the tail end of its all-night muerteada.
 It is all about dancing with mirrored capes.
 And outrageous masks.
 Look at the detail!  All hand-sewn, I imagine.
 And outfits covered with bells.  Keeping the tradition alive, these five all from the same family
Some amazing costumes.
As a wrote a few days ago, muerteadas have really caught on in the Etlas and it would be wild if they were all as totally insane as this one.  Here, there are two groups of dancers and their entourages, each from a different barrio, and starting the evening before they go from house to house and dance, drink, eat, party to some of the most infectious music.  There may some mezcal and beer consumed.
Twelve hours later, the sun comes up and they finish visiting homes.  Then at the base of the hill, the two groups, led by their bands, converge for a final mosh pit, although the groups are separated by many men from the village acting as security.  The bands go head to head, a real battle with twelve tubas going at each other, six on six.  The dancers are behind each band and going totally insane.  Yes, for sure, a good time.
And this muerteada is getting popular.  I think it has to do with what the dancers wear, bells and mirrors.  And the outfits weigh a lot... the pants or a cape, maybe 20 kilos.... Try dancing for fourteen hours in those.... The guys go into trances....I did mention there was beer and mezcal, didn't I?  It can take it's toll.  I mean, this guy looks like death warmed over.
I shot mostly video this year and will post some when I get it edited.  Still, this is one of the most fun and craziest times of the year.  Just fantastic.

No comments: