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

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Carnival in Teotitlan del Valle - 2014 - Danza de los Viejitos

Unlike many other places, where they party hearty long before Easter, Teotitlan del Valle celebrates carnival after Easter.  And like most celebrations in Teotitlan, carnival is filled with traditions and never gets to the full blown craziness that accompanies many other carnivals and Mardi Gras.  Although, for me, it got a tiny bit crazy.  That's me behind the mask.  I have the old man thing down solid.
(h/t spixl)
Each day of the week, there is a meal and celebration in a different part of the village.  This was the second year that we visited the same home in Section 5.   We learned that the meal/celebration was a three year cargo, or commitment, so I hope to be back next year.

There was an excellent band, a wonderful meal of barbacoa (beef) and lots of dancing.  Notice no eating utensiles, only tlayudas and fingers.  Also, notice the traditional white shirts.  I managed to eat my entire bowlful with not one single stain on my shirt.  A first!!
Dance here is somber yet energetic.  No one ever cracks a smile.  Of course, that is not the case with the highlight of carnival in Teotitlan, the danza de los viejitos, the dance of the old men.
They appear to be happy, cantankerous and able to give flack to anyone and everyone.  Their partners are men dressed as women, who have the most wonderful high cackling laugh.
After much food, drink and dance, the group leaves the house and parades down the street to the municipal center, where the entire village awaits for more presentations and dancing.
They interact with the many folks who stand in their doorways to enjoy the spectacle.
 Everyone has a phone/camera.
 It was a ten minute walk to the municipo.
The procession is led by two characters (this year, three), the chihuahuas, who virtually never, ever stop moving.  They jog in place the entire time.... they must go into some sort of a trance.
The little guy was the son of one of the dancers and he ended leading the entire parade into the packed plaza.  Some folks got there early to get primo seats and to enjoy nieves, ices.
By the time the viejitos arrived, at 6 PM, the place was packed, with people still streaming in.
Not a tourist in sight.  They really missed out.
 This woman had the perfect spot in a little elevated area leaning back against a tree. She drank in the scene and so did we.  Ahhhh... Teotitlan del Valle.
This year I actually concentrated on getting decent video of the dance and the whole event and will post those results when I can.

1 comment:

Ralph said...

I like your images. They give a nice feel for the festivities.