Saturday, April 20, 2013

Danza de los Voladores - Flying men

Danza de los Voladores From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Flying Men starting their dance, Teotihuacan
Totonacs of Papantla, Veracruz performing the "voladores" ritual

The Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers), or Palo Volador (Pole Flying), is an ancient Mesoamerican ceremony/ritual still performed today, albeit in modified form, in isolated pockets in Mexico and Guatemala. It is believed to have originated with the Nahua, Huastec and Otomi peoples in central Mexico, and then spread throughout most of Mesoamerica. The ritual consists of dance and the climbing of a 30 meter pole from which four of the five participants then launch themselves tied with ropes to descend to the ground. The fifth remains on top of the pole, dancing and playing a flute and drum. According to one myth, the ritual was created to ask the gods to end a severe drought. Although the ritual did not originate with the Totonac people, today it is strongly associated with them, especially those in and around Papantla in the Mexican state of Veracruz.[1] The ceremony was named an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in order to help the ritual survive and thrive in the modern world.[2]

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