Saturday, May 07, 2011

Chicanonautica: Burning Judas Beyond Cinco de Mayo

El Cinco was on Thurday, so all over Norteamerica, the tequila, guacamole, and chip&sala rituals are probably still going on. Lady Mayahuel, the Aztec Goddess of Alcohol is happy, but my mission here at Chicanonautica is to show that there is more to Mexican culture than all that. Besides, we could use more re-enactments of the Battle of Puebla, and Zacapoaxtla antics.

We also just had those fantastic crucifixion re-enactments – especially the one in Iztapalapa that does it right with sets, costumes, penitentes, and belly dancers.

Not quite sacrifices of the festival Tlacaxipehuatliztli, the Flaying of Men in Honor of Xipe Totec, but the same resurrection theme come through loud and clear.

Also for Easter, there's another interesting tradition, la Quema de Judas, or the Burning of Judas. For this, fantastic effigies are constructed, usually with horns and with the forms of imaginative demonic creatures, but sometimes with political overtones. They are also endowed with fireworks that shower sparks and explode when they are set ablaze.

What a show! I'd like to see more of this, especially on our side of the border, here in Arizona:

“It kind of looks like the Governor . . .”

“Naw, it's La Llorona.”

Technology could allow the effigies to move and speak before self-destructing. Once again the myth behind the basic monster movie plot is revealed. This could be a newfangled kind of robotic exorcism.

We could use some exorcisms in these troubled times.

Ernest Hogan is working on a story about Pancho Villa, an airship, and a death ray.

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