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Ann Murdy | profile | all galleries >> El Concurso para La Diosa Centéotl/The Contest for the Corn Goddess 2013 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

El Concurso para La Diosa Centéotl/The Contest for the Corn Goddess 2013

In July 2013 I returned to Oaxaca, Mexico to photograph the Guelaguetza again. When I visited Oaxaca for the Guelaguetza in 2012 I had no idea there were so many pre-Guelaguetza activities such as the contest to choose the Corn Goddess Centéotl. The winner of this contest presides over many of the Guelaguetza activities such as leading the parade of delegations on each Saturday before the dancing in the Guelaguetza auditorium begins on the last two Mondays in July. She also welcomes all the attendees in the amphitheatre before the dancing commences for both the 10AM and 5PM performances.

This year the concurso or contest took place on July 18th and 19th on the Alameda de León in front of the Cathedral on the zócalo. There were twenty-eight contestants between the ages of sixteen through twenty-two who competed. The contestants were from the eight regions of Oaxaca. They were selected for their knowledge of their customs from their respective region. On the first day they spoke about the customs, agriculture and products that came from their area. On the second day they spoke about their traje (folk costume). Many even spoke about the slips they were wearing underneath their skirts and their shoes as well. Quite a few of the contestants welcomed the audience in their native language before they switched over to Spanish. They were passionate about their respective area. Many of them played musical instruments or sang folk songs from their region as well. Before the contest began their names were announced and they went up to the front of the stage to draw a numbered ball out of a bowl to determine who would speak first to last.

For myself, this was an excellent opportunity to view the traje from each respective region. I don't know how the judges made their final decision, but when it was all over, Dulce Yanet Grijalva Martínez from San Pablo Villa de Mitla was chosen to be Diosa Centéotl 2013. Upon having her name annouced, she burst into tears. Dulce means "sweet" in Spanish and the new Diosa Centéotl seemed to be very sweet indeed!

To see the rest of my photos taken during the Guelaguetza visit this link: http://www.pbase.com/annmurdy/guelaguetza_2013&page=all
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Girl from Unión Hidalgo
Girl from Unión Hidalgo
Contestants for Diosa Centéotl 2013
Contestants for Diosa Centéotl 2013
Contestants waiting to go onstage
Contestants waiting to go onstage
Contestant from Huautla de Jiménez
Contestant from Huautla de Jiménez
Girl from San Juan Bautista Valle Nacional competing
Girl from San Juan Bautista Valle Nacional competing
Girl from Santo Tomás Mazaltepec
Girl from Santo Tomás Mazaltepec
The Contestants, Day One
The Contestants, Day One
Dulce, Diosa Centéotl 2013
Dulce, Diosa Centéotl 2013
The Contestants sitting onstage
The Contestants sitting onstage
Girl from San Pedro y San Pablo Ayutla playing clarinet
Girl from San Pedro y San Pablo Ayutla playing clarinet
The Back of the Tehuanas
The Back of the Tehuanas
Contestant from Loma Bonita
Contestant from Loma Bonita
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