The 2011 Zacatecas Cultural Festival opened with a parade of the individual dances from fiestas from throughout the state and it was a rare treat. In a currently sparsely populated state its unusual to get to the 3-hours distant Southern rim which lies on the border with Jalisco, but I promise you all, after meeting and seeing these Tastuanes Alfonso the Anthropologist and I are doing our best to see their July 25 fiesta to Santo Santiago, their patron… they were mouth dropping intense, strange, funny and cool, all the good things.
Each small community features a dance with lots of heritage – the Matlachine you see in different versions usually plays tribute to the Virgin of Guadalupe. These are not obviously hyper-choreographed and packaged versions of the native dances, they are living rituals.
The talented Hugo Mendez of San Luis Potosi, MX created this video about the extraordinary Day of the Dead celebrations in the Huasteca region of SLP state.
The region is dominated by agriculture, sugar cane fields. Its hot and humid, a contrast to the Altiplano high desert that covers the rest of the state. Due to its isolation, foreign tourists rarely get there which is a shame, the area is loaded with waterfalls, warm turquoise rivers, some pyramids and some hot springs, and indigenous communities who continue traditional lives.
Some tourist Eco projects & cool hotel/resort venues are happening (huastecasecreta.com ex.), the SLP Bicycle Vuelta hits Ciudad Valles and explores the area, and the famous Castillo and jungle art of Sir Edward James draws visitors to Xilitla in the southern Huasteca, a region of coffee growing and cooler altitudes.
In this exhibition spring 2011 at Arroyo de la Plata gallery, Jesus (Chucho) Reyes explores surrealistic technique such as found objects and free association, in a wild large format piece that includes manipulated desert images, a body painting festival, masks, as well as a brilliant palate of colorful design pulling it together. This exhibition was chosen as one of the cataloged players in the 2 week Cultural Festival of Zacatecas 2011.
Alfonso Treviño is our anthropologist expert for this new series featured here on Vimeo and on mexitv.com. Here I asked him how mestizo Mexicans view the Indigenous population. His response dissects our tenancy to start with stereotypes when dealing with “the other”.
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