Dance of the Mexicans

Dance of the Mexicans | GuatexplorerEach town in Guatemala has its saint with its corresponding festival and in his honour on that particular day (some festivals can last several days) processions are organised, marimba players are hired and folkloric dances dating from the time of the conquest are realised. In saint’s honour locals drink, light rockets, incense is offered and the saint is promised eternal fidelity in the prayers of the people.

One of the most interesting dances is called “The dance of the Mexicans”. Now, why would people in a country that neighbours Mexico in the south organises such an event? Isn’t this mocking of the Mexicans? And why it happens?

Memories of the times of the Conquista live even today in modern Guatemala. The fact is: Guatemala was conquered from what would later become Mexico. Therefore, even Pedro de Alvarado, notorious and cruel conqueror of Guatemala, was Mexican in a way. With him, came the warriors from Tlaxcala and they were ruthless killers. And native Mexicans. To defeated Mayan people what’s left after all is to mock. To keep those bad memories through this chaotic dance of the Mexicans.

This tradition is held mostly in Totonicapán, Chichicastenango and Quetzaltenango areas. Dance is surrounded with various rituals that include incense and candles. Usually, this special event is held in October and some groups of “Mexicans” perform even on the All Saints Day. Photos below, made by Willy Posadas, are made in Sumpango during the famous Kites Festival.

Whatever you do in Guatemala, try also to visit some local festival in some small town. Blend in and enjoy.

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