The Magic of the Cities.

Zen promotes the rediscovery of the obvious, which is so often lost in its familiarity and simplicity. It sees the miraculous in the common and magic in our everyday surroundings. When we are not rushed, and our minds are unclouded by conceptualizations, a veil will sometimes drop, introducing the viewer to a world unseen since childhood. ~ John Greer

Showing posts with label Museo Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Museo Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you...I could walk through my garden forever.”
― Alfred Tennyson


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I appreciate them all. Stay tuned…

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Linha do Horizonte

Papantla's Flyers

“For me there is only the traveling on the paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart.
There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge for me is to traverse its full length.
And there I travel— looking, looking, breathlessly”.
~ Carlos Castaneda

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Thursday, May 8, 2014


“If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.”
― Charles DarwinThe Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809–82

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Birdmen of Mexico II

You can see flying scenes in :

Papantla Flyers
Swing of Delight
Swing of Delight II
Swing of Delight III

The Birdmans of Mexico
The Voladores of Papantla

 Ask anyone who's been to Papantla what most impressed them, and they'll probably say, "The Voladores." Many people who've never been to the Gulf Coast -- or even to Mexico - will light up in recognition at the mention of the Voladores. They perform regularly throughout Mexico, Central and South America. They've performed in several cities in the United States, and even in Paris and Madrid. So, who are the Voladores, and why are they famous?

Volador means flyer - he who flies. It is breathtaking to watch the spectacle of four men gracefully "flying" upside down from a 75 foot  pole secured only by a rope tied around their waists.

Even more amazing is the musician, called the caporal. Balanced on a narrow wooden platform without a rope or safety net, the caporal plays a drum and flute and invokes an ancient spiritual offering in the form of a spectacular dance.

 As he turns to face the four cardinal directions, he will bend his head back to his feet, balance on one foot then lean precariously forward, and perform intricate footwork, all the time playing the flute and drum! No matter how many times you see this beautiful performance, it will continue to astonish you, and the plaintive tune of the flute and drum will remain with you long after you have returned home.

The early history of the ceremonial flight of the Voladores is shrouded in the mists of antiquity. Information about the original ritual was partially lost when the invading conquerors from Spain destroyed so many of the documents and codices of the indigenous cultures. Fortunately, enough survived through legend and oral history and in materials written by early visitors to New Spain, that anthropologists and historians have been able to document at least part of the story of this ancient religious practice and how it has evolved through time.

A Totonaca myth tells of a time when there was a great drought, and food and water grew scarce throughout the land. Five young men decided that they must send a message to Xipe Totec, God of fertility so that the rains would return and nurture the soil, and their crops would again flourish. So they went into the forest and searched for the tallest, straightest tree they could find.
When they came upon the perfect tree, they stayed with it overnight, fasting and praying for the tree's spirit to help them in their quest. The next day they blessed the tree, then felled it and carried it back to their village, never allowing it to touch the ground. Only when they decided upon the perfect location for their ritual, did they set the tree down.
The men stripped the tree of its leaves and branches, dug a hole to stand it upright, then blessed the site with ritual offerings. The men adorned their bodies with feathers so that they would appear like birds to Xipe Totec, in hope of attracting the god's attention to their important request. With vines wrapped around their waists, they secured themselves to the pole and made their plea through their flight and the haunting sound of the flute and drum. 


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Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Tlaloc, God of rain, fertility and water.

Tlaloc was an important deity in Aztec religion. He was a beneficent god who gave life and sustenance, but he was also feared for his ability to send hail, thunder and lightning, and for being the lord of the powerful element of water. In Aztec iconography he is normally depicted with goggle eyes and fangs. He was associated with caves, springs and mountains.
In Aztec cosmology, the four corners of the universe are marked by "The Four Tlalocs" which both hold up the sky and functions as the frame for the passing of time. Tlaloc was the patron of the Calendar day Mazatl and of the trecena of Ce Quiyahuitl (1 Rain). In Aztec mythology, Tlaloc was the lord of the third sun, which was destroyed by fire.
In the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, one of the two shrines on top of the Great Temple was dedicated to Tlaloc. The High Priest who was in charge of the Tlaloc shrine was called "Quetzalcoatl Tlaloc Tlamacazqui". However the most important site of worship to Tlaloc was on the peak of Mount Tlaloc, a 4100 metres high mountain on the eastern rim of the Valley of Mexico. Here the Aztec ruler came and conducted important ceremonies once a year, and throughout the year pilgrims offered precious stones and figures at the shrine.

In Coatlinchan a colossal statue weighing 168 tons was found that was thought to represent Tlaloc. Some scholars believe that the statue may not have been Tlaloc at all but his sister or some other female deity. This statue was relocated to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City in 1964. [Wiki]


New York City and Washington series continue in Sketches of Cities. 
(At Least Once A Week)
Gracias por su visita. / Thanks for visiting, please be sure that I read each and every one of your kind comments and I appreciate them all. Stay tune.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Voladores de Papantla / The Papantla Flyers

The Danza de los Voladores de Papantla (Dance of Papantla's flyers) is a ritualistic dance in Veracruz performed by the Totonac Indians. Five men, each representing the five elements of the indigenous world climb atop a pole, one of them stays on the pole playing a flute and dancing while the remaining four descend the pole with a rope tied by one of their feet. The rope unwraps itself 13 times for each of the four flyers, symbolizing the 52 weeks of the year.
According to legend, a long drought covered the Earth so five men decided to send Xipe Totec, the God of fertility a message, asking them for the rain to return. They went to the forest and looked for the straightest tree, cut it, and took it back to their town. They removed all branches and placed it on the ground, then dressed themselves as feet/birds and descended flying attempting to grab their God's attention. It is believed that this ritual began over 1,500 years ago, and later on was disguised as a sort of game to protect their customs from the Spanish Priests.

El Juego del Volador es una tradición mexicana que, para algunos antiguos pueblos indígenas como los olmecas y totonacas, era un ritual sagrado con un gran significado astronómico y religioso. También se práctica en el occidente de Guatemala.
Consiste en que cuatro personas (simbolizando los cuatro puntos cardinales) se atan a un tronco alto y giran colgados alrededor de él 13 veces cada quien, sumando en total 52 vueltas, que eran los años que duraba un siglo astronómico para los indígenas.
Aunque se suele conocer como Danza de los Voladores de Papantla, la evidencia arqueológica ha demostrado que se trata de un ritual muy antiguo y no circunscrito a la cultura totonaca. Se conocen representaciones de cerámica procedentes de Nayarit que parecen probar que el ritual existía por lo menos desde el Período Preclásico de Mesoamérica. En la actualidad sigue siendo celebrado por los grupos nahuas y totonacos de la Sierra Norte de Puebla y el Totonacapan veracruzano. Algunos grupos de indígenas de esas regiones se han trasladado a diversos puntos de la República Mexicana, como el Museo Nacional de Antropología en la Ciudad de México, donde hacen una breve representación del ritual indígena.
En la celebración acompañada de danzas y música se utiliza un tronco o "palo volador" donde se ajustan varias piezas: una pequeña base, una cruz, un pivote que unirá y posibilitará el giro, y una escalera. En los extremos de la cruz se colocan cuerdas que sujetan a los danzantes voladores simbolizando los puntos cardinales, norte, sur, este y oeste. A más de 12 metros en lo alto de la estructura, se sitúa el caporal, personaje que toca un tambor y una flauta, y coordina el ritual. Cada señal que el caporal hace es un tipo de acrobacia, en una de ellas cada danzante volador disfrazado de ave saltan al vacío y giran 13 veces cada uno de ellos, con un total de 52, que representa los años que representaba un ciclo indígena. Finaliza cuando los participantes empiezan a abrir el circulo hasta tocar el suelo.

Gracias por su visita / Thanks for visiting.