Thursday, September 14, 2006


So those 3:00AM fireworks I was bitching about yesterday (postponed until 5:30 today, thank god) were part of the Festival of Santa Cruz - the Convento de Santa Cruz is around the corner from us. As Mexican towns go, Queretaro is fairly sophisticated and cosmopolitan, but right now there are about 2,000 Otomi Indians in loincloths and feathered headdresses pounding drums and dancing in circles behind our house. I haven't seen anything quite like this since we saw the Grateful Dead at Red Rocks in 1987.

I'm about to seriously mangle some Mexcian history here, having heard this from a local without checking it out, but apparently the Otomi, who are the indians in this region (their rivals, the Chichimeca, having died out for a number of reasons, cannibalism being one of them) are the only tribe of Indians not slaughtered wholesale by the Spaniards. For reasons I'm vague on, they cut a deal early on, declaring, "Gosh, we'd just love to convert to Christianity, thank you!" They're sort of the indian version of the French, I guess. However, it was agreed that they had to at least pretend to have been officially conquered, so they staged a fake fight with the Spaniards, "lost" and converted. Whether this festival is a commemoration of that, I'm not certain, but it is certainly also a harvest festival. Regardless, it's hard to conveny just how much the perro hates the combination of drums, fireworks, churchbells, rain and and being ten inches tall surrounded by a couple thousand people stomping their feet wildly. The fact that the ground is covered with food only begins to make up for it.

Anyway, some photos and a shakey silent video follow.

The thing to keep in mind, in case I didn't make it clear, is that these people are Catholics. St John's in Swampscott could use something like this once a year.

Here's a video. You've have to supply your own drumming, though.

All that dancing makes an Otomi warrior thirsty, of course.

This is that slippery slope opponents of gay marriage keep warning us about:

And finally...

1 comment:

Josh said...

Awesome. And that Red Rocks show was something, so this thing must have REALLY been something.