06 October 2012

The Group

I know many of the visitors here are not all that excited about parades. Nor am I normally. I have spent a lifetime avoiding parades. In fact I did not attend the previous three parades in connection with La Alborada, Saint Michael's very own fiesta, that have taken place while I have lived here. I did attend the one last Saturday obviously. For the first time in my life, I enjoyed a parade.

Groups from all over Mexico, from as far away as Oaxaca, came to town for this parade, which features indigenous costumes and dance. I am ashamed to say that I do not know where my favorite group came from. I missed the sign with that information, but they quickly got my attention. For one thing, they had some stringed instruments.

This lady led them in, dancing and playing her instrument at the same time. Notice the homemade oil drum drum in the background. This lady was energy itself. You can see this in her face. I have now given away one of my Best in Show ladies. This woman is one of them.

Their costumes were not the most spectacular costumes of the parade, but they could dance splendidly. The shells around their ankles made a perfect rhythm as they danced. Their shakers were not maracas--not some gourds with seeds in them. They were metal, and it sounded as if they had nuts and bolts in them. The rhythm quickly became mesmerizing.

They themselves seemed mesmerized. So intense. Here, you can see another of the stringed instruments on the right in the background, what appears to me to be a banjo.

And the men . . .

Consider this man for example. The gym rats among my visitors will forgive me if I say that this is not the kind of strength that is acquired in a gym. I know not what this man does during the week or what the other men in this group do during the week, but it involves some sort of demanding physical labor. Look at his hands.

To tell you the truth, some of the other men in the parade were soft. A big beer belly can give a comic effect to an indigenous costume. You will see no photos of them here. I do not want to embarrass them. But these men were brutally strong and yet great dancers.

"Intense" is the only word that I can think of to describe it. When this group finished and marched off, my blood was running a little faster.

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