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

Friday, November 3, 2017

Muerteada in San Agustin Etla

As the words say, "La Cuna de la Muerteada," "The Cradle of the Muerteada"" or as I like to say, "The Mother of all Muerteadas."  And I am happy to say, I survived once again this year, as I like to place myself right in the middle of all of the wonderful insanity.
In a nutshell:  There are two groups of dancers, one from Barrio San Jose and the other from San Agustin. Really, they are all friends and neighbors, but for these two days, they hate each other and have a major battle of the bands at the very end of the fourteen hours celebration.  San Jose...
 San Agustin...
 It is quite loud, a wonderful cacophony.
Each group starts the night before and goes from house to house, eating and drinking and dancing to some of the most infectious music imaginable.  Then, the next morning, they meet at the bottom of the hill and just go crazy, kinda one big mosh pit... well, two separate mosh pits, as they are separated by two lines of security, one from each group.  Tubas or bassos lead the assault and musical conversation.  This year there were thirteen tubas playing their collective asses off.  I'm a musician and I don't know how they do it.  I can't imagine playing that long.  At the end, everyone's lips and swollen, red and blue... but so worth it.  Vale la pena!
The dancers wear amazing costumes, the most tradition being one covered with bells and mirrors.
They are so heavy, maybe thirty kilos... and yet they dance for hour upon hour.
There are some other pretty amazing looks, too.
Lots of kids involved, a family fun event.  Even in the craziest part of the mosh pit scene, there are families with babies, little kids.
 And lots of guys dressed up like gals.
It's really hard to describe it, you'll just have to come for yourself... or wait for the video.  Ah yes, the ladies have their own muerteada in a couple of weeks.

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