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, December 14, 2015

A grand finale - Los Danzantes of Teotitlan del Valle

It will take a while to process all the various aspects of the final performance of la danza de la pluma by the danzantes of Teotitlan del Valle.  It was the end of a three year commitment for each of them and I'm sure it meant something different to each one of them.  It certainly meant a lot to me.  Faith, family, honor, tradition, respect, all played a part.  And all I can say is they sure did it right, something of which they can be proud for the rest of their lives.
You can see by the layout what a large affair it was and those chairs are only for the families of the dancers.  They each had a section and each family brought lots of offerings that would be exchanged later in the evening. 
After they finished each dancer gave everyone... everyone!  some little gift, some fruit or candy.  We came away with a large overflowing bag of good things... and some of the weirdest candies.
The entire village turned out and the areas behind all those chairs were filled.  They were celebrating both the Virgin of Guadalupe, and showing their love and respect for these dancers.  In Zapotec culture, respect is at the very top of the ethos.  I humbly admit, I have learned much from beholding how they comport themselves in daily life.  It's all about respect!  And dancing...
And wow, these dancers demonstrated those core values so powerfully that I thought... well, I'm still thinking about it.  
I have lots of photos and some pretty amazing video of the last dance and then, the end of it all as the dancers congratulate each other and hug, slap five, some with smiles, some with tears in their eyes.  It was a pretty sweet moment.  Jose Isaac Vasquez de los Angeles, Monctezuma....
They did themselves and their village proud.
Long to be remembered..... and much more to come.

2 comments:

Coyote Woman's Journal said...

I was there for the last groups final dance. Yes, it means alot, and it would take awhile to explain that exactly. I was close to families involved over that 3 year period. Nice photos

Gabby Garcia said...

Really nice ..!