Danza de los Voladores

Voladores performing in San MIguel de Allende

As part of the Feast of the Archangel San MIguel, the Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers), although considered heathen and partially eliminated by the Spanish Conquistadors has now been incorporated, like many other Aztec and other dances, into the Catholic celebrations. A pre-hispanic ritual asking the Gods to end drought, and believed to have originated about 500 years ago with the Nahua, Huastec and Otomi peoples in central Mexico, it eventually spread throughout most of Mesoamerica. The tallest tree in the forest was cut down and stripped, and re-erected in the village for the ceremony. Seen here in San Miguel de Allende, four youths slowly fly down from the top of the pole as the ropes attached to them unwind. A fifth Voladore on top of the pole dances and plays a flute and drum. The ceremony is recognized as part of the Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.

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