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Ann Murdy | profile | all galleries >> The Faces and Dances of the 2018 Guelaguetza in Oaxaca, Mexico tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

The Faces and Dances of the 2018 Guelaguetza in Oaxaca, Mexico

The Guelaguetza is always celebrated the last two Mondays in July in the Guelaguetza Auditorium. Dancers from the eight regions of the state participate in this folkloric event. There are two performances each Monday, one at 10AM and the other at 5PM. The 5PM performance ends with an explosion of fireworks. The celebration is related to the Corpus Christi celebrations at the Carmen Alto church in Oaxaca City. It originated in colonial times. This is the largest dance festival in Mexico.

Each Saturday before the performances in the Guelaguetza Auditorium there is a parade (desfile) of delegations. All of these delegations will end up dancing on both of the Mondays in the auditorium. This is one of the best times to get up close and personal with the dancers who love being photographed in their traditional traje from their respective villages. It is so much fun to take this all in, as the dancers will dance in place in the staging area with lively music from the band that accompanies them.

The word "guelaguetza" means offering, gift or present. After each delegation has completed their dance in the auditorium, they throw whatever comes from their respective village into the audience of 11,000 spectators. For example, when the Flor de Piña dancers have completed their dance, they throw pineapples grown from the region of Tuxtepec to the eager people seated in front. Other groups toss other types of fruit, bread, candies, snacks, etc. into the enthusiastic crowd.

This joyous and lively celebration showcases gastronomy, mezcal, textiles, folk art, dancing and music from around the state. It is a fantastic time to visit Oaxaca!
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Portrait of Flor de Piña dancer
Portrait of Flor de Piña dancer
Dancing in the streets
Dancing in the streets
Girl from Santa Maria Thaluitoltepec
Girl from Santa Maria Thaluitoltepec
Dancing Away
Dancing Away
Delegation from San Pablo Macuiltianguis
Delegation from San Pablo Macuiltianguis
Danzante from Teotitlán del Valle
Danzante from Teotitlán del Valle
Couple from Santa Maria Huatulco
Couple from Santa Maria Huatulco
Girl from Ejutla de Crespo
Girl from Ejutla de Crespo
Portrait of Tehuana
Portrait of Tehuana
Delegation from Santiago Jamiltepec
Delegation from Santiago Jamiltepec
Portrait of a China Oaxqueña
Portrait of a China Oaxqueña
Female dancers from Putla
Female dancers from Putla
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