Wednesday, June 13, 2012

La Guelaguetza in Oaxaca

In July Oaxacans will celebrate another Guelaguetza in Oaxaca. The modern fiesta started in days before the Spanish conquered Mexico, when various groups from the area got together to dance and trade in honor of the local Corn Goddess.

The Corn Goddess is still honored at the opening of the modern fiesta, held at the auditorium overlooking the city. The dancers and musicians are from pueblos all over the state of Oaxaca--mostly the indigenous peoples -- Mixe, Mixtec, Zapotec--They identify with their pueblo usually, not their indigenous language group. Still, that word is Zapotec--Guelaguetza--and means an exchange of goods and services. This exchange still goes on in the pueblos (towns) when there's a wedding, baptism or some other fiesta.