Wednesday, July 05, 2006
As I have mentioned in past posts, I was planning on going out to Teotitlan today with my dad. Thankfully the teachers weren't blocking the road out there and we got to my friend's place just fine. They received us very warmly and offered us a few tamales almost right away. I love tamales, and these didn't disapoint. The sauce covering the chicken inside the tamale was a bit different than I've had before, and the outer covering was corn leaves compared to the typical corn husks or banana leaves, but they were still excelent. We were told that those tamales were the traditional kind from Teotitlan.
Since it was the town's biggest religious holiday, celebrating the Precious Blood, they had some special events downtown. It was set up almost like a carnival in parts and like a big market in others. The biggest attraction when we were there, though, was the Feather Dance. From what I understood from my friend, the same people danced and the same musicians played the music for six hours straight. Why? Because they made some kind of sacred promise to the town saint. It was a bit strange, but still interesting to watch them dance. It was similar to, but a little more authentic, than the Feather Dance that they do at the Guelaguetza, the large festival that will be held in a couple of weeks in which the main thing is a long program of traditional dances from around the state of Oaxaca that are performed in the outdoor amphitheater.
My friend also showed us stones built into the walls of the Catholic church there that are from the temples that the Spaniards destroyed to build the Catholic churches. In fact, the church is built on the remains of the temples in Teotitlan. Later, when we returned to my friend's house, I bought two rugs along with ten woven coasters. For those of you who were not aware of this, I am trying to make a small business of selling these rugs at craft fairs in the Twin Cities. If you are interested in buying any rugs, let me know and I will send you some more information. (My email address is oaxacakid AT gmail DOT com )
First pic: Some of the dancers. Behind them, in the wall of the church, you can see pieces of stones that are from the ancient temples that used to stand in that spot.
Second pic: More dancers. The people in the yellow shirts on the left are part of the orchestra that plays the music for the dancers.
Third pic: The carnival atmosphere. Not many people yet, but it really gets crowded later in the evening.