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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Carnival scene

A scene from the Carnival festival of the Huastecan Nahuas. February 1993. Huautla, Hidalgo, Mexico.

TLAPANECOS

The Tlapanecos of southeastern Oaxaca merged their rain god Akuniya with the Christian saint, St. Mark. This saint's day, April 25, falls near the beginning of the maize growing season, the success of which depends on adequate rainfall. To encourage St. Mark to bless them with the seasonal rains, they perform special rituals on mountaintops near their homes. They spread swaths of cotton symbolic of clouds over greenery and flowers representing abundant vegetation. These they arrange in a semi-circle before images of St. Mark and a cross adorned with flower garlands, where they make offerings of alcohol, tobacco, and the meat and blood of sacrificed animals.

 

TLAPANECOS

Los tlapanecos del sureste de Oaxaca fusionaron a su dios de la lluvia Akuniya con el santo cristiano, San Marcos. El 25 de abril, día de este santo, cae cerca del inicio de la siembra del maíz, que su éxito depende de una adecuada temporada de lluvias. Para que San Marcos los bendiga con las lluvias, llevan a cabo rituales especiales en las cimas de las montañas cercanas a sus hogares. Colocan pedazos de algodón, que simbolizan las nubes, sobre plantas y flores, que representan la abundante vegetación. Esto es realizado en un semicírculo ante imágenes de San Marcos y una cruz adornada con guirnaldas, donde ofrecen alcohol, tabaco, y la sangre y carne de animales sacrificados.

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Tlapanecos
Festival of St. Mark
click for large image

Tlapanecos
Festival of St. Mark
click for large image
Tlapanecos
Festival of St. Mark
click for large image

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