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

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Guelaguetza in Viguera...

I discovered something special....  Yesterday, on the last Monday of the month, I went up the foothills to nearby Trinidad de Viguera.  My local fruit vendor said there was a guelaguetza there on the cancha or basketball court and what a beautiful event it turned out to be. 
My fruit lady immediately saw me and gave me a big hug, so I was cool as the only gringo for kms..   The first thing I noticed was how many young people were there, dressed up and ready to dance. And they were dancing dances I had never seen before.
There were less than five hundred people there and I bet half of them were kids. 
The whole vibe or flavor of the event was so heart-warming.  I felt like I had a real insight into the whole guelaguetza  thing. 
I saw such pride, joy and togetherness, like no other time.   Everybody was a part of it because they were all family. 
Watching parents get with their kids before and after they danced was just so sweet.  And of course, I teared up for the Flor de PiƱa, as I always do.
There were adults dancing, too and a folkloric group from Xoxo, which was quite good. 
The best part was that it was mostly just the people from Viguera and that made it much more intimate.  And the food was real good, too!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Rebozos - Traditional and yet not...

There is a wonderful exhibition of rebozos just across from Santo Domingo, once again showing off the brilliance of Oaxacan artists and culture. 
These beautiful pieces really push the limits of what is a very traditional garment. 
The ones of the indigeous women wearing trajes are by Alejando Cruz and the prices range fro 30,000 to 70,000 pesos ($1800 to 4100 US).
Rebozos are ubiquitous here and every village has a different way of wearing them. 
From Wikipedia. "It can be worn in various ways, usually folded or wrapped around the head and/or upper body to shade from the sun, provide warmth and as an accessory to an outfit. It is also used to carry babies and large bundles, especially among indigenous women" 
However, I don't think these will be carrying any babies. 
They all have the traditional woven fringes called rapacejos, which is another whole art unto itself. 
Oaxaca at its most creative and beautiful.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Oaxaca at its best....

July is simply the best month of the year here.  The city is filled with people... and art, music, dance and food, glorious, food.  And Oaxaca knows what it's doing.  There are large, absolutely gorgeous photos prominently placed along the sidewalks.
Really, these are some of the best shots I've ever seen, large, crisp and beautiful. 
There is also a large exhibition of, maybe, 200 photos from all over the state in front of the governor's palace that must be seen. 
The shots of people in their regional outfits and settings are absolutely amazing. 
Or how about the display of rebozos in front of Santo Domingo? 
More of those later.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Reyes Etla Guelaguetza

This is the calenda or procession that opened the guelaguetza in Reyes Etla, Oaxaca on July 17, 2023. The Guelaguetza is a long performance of traditional dances from all over the state. The official one is in the city but many village present their own versions which are more intimate.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

It's beginning to look like... Guelaguetza

The city is abuzz as the official guelaguetza dances take place the next two Mondays, but there is so much more happening. 
Tomorrow, the first of the desfiles, or parades of the delegations of dancers from all over the state, takes place, and it is always simply the best.  Be there or be square... or watch it on CORTV. 
These figures grace the corners of the zocalo and I like them. 
They are good representations of the traditional clothing that the dancers wear.
Of course, you can see all of the real outfits in the next couple of weeks. I'll be there for you.
Oaxaca at its finest. 
I will be heading into the city for the desfiles and then, on Monday, off to Reyes Etla for their verions of the dance festival.