The day of the dead, November 2nd is a probably the second greatest celebration in Mexico after or at par with December 12, the Virgin of Guadalupe. For some years now, the city of Mexico has financed a display of Alebrijes coinciding with the Day of the Dead. I am not too keen on local governments spending taxpayers’ money on “culture” when the basics are not met: streets are full of holes, public lighting is largely deficient, let us not mention security… But there it is, every year (panem et circenses) There is a display of Alebrijes on Reforma, the largest avenue in Mexico city.
Alebrijes are local “demons” of sort. Invented in 1936 by a Mexican artist called Pedro Linares López. Built in Papier-mâché, they normally feature fantastic animals or combination of animals. The above batman-like Alebrije is called “Coatzín”. After exhaustive, 5 second research, it is supposed to mean “noble serpent” in Nahuátl.
There are two kinds of Alebrijes in Mexico: the originals, so to speak, in papier-mâché, are from Mexico city. The other kind is from Oaxaca, in the southwest of Mexico, carved out of tender wood and features fantasy animals not in a grotesque or scary way, but more elegant, stylized. (Need to remember doing a post on those. Have a few at home)
Shot those last Saturday, October 31st. After an entire week of sun, of course, clouds started to pack above as we parked the car behind Reforma. 😦 A photographer’s nightmare. All I needed was a wee bitta sun to explode the colours. No way José.
What’s for lunch?
Plan 9 from outer space
I couldn’t resist naming this one after the fabulous movie, after I realized that one of my E-friends is a fan. The creature from the black lagoon was not on display, in case any enlightened amateur should ask.
The angel of Independence on Reforma Avenue. Just right around the corner. Just to prove I kid thee not not about the lousy light. 😦
Death is always present.
Chan or Kan Balaam was a Maya lord around 700. AD. Balaam or Balam means Jaguar in Maya. Chilam Balam is a series of sacred Maya books. The source of many a treasure quest and adventure stories. (See Corto Maltese by Hugo Pratt)
If, dear reader, you are seeing a pink elephant, please cut down on the Tequila now. And I mean NOW. The above is just a sheep.
The one and only brief second of sun in the entire walk. As you can see the little kids just love the monsters.
Man walking to his doom.
Tunkuluchú, in Maya, or tecolote in Mexican (from Nahuátl: tecolotl) is the owl. Of bad omen, he announces Death.
Tunkuluchu, the owl. Detail.
Text and pix (c) BMO and Equinoxio. The author wishes to apologize for the lack of decent light. Colours would have been muuuch better. Such are the dangers of reporting in war zones. No time to adjust your diaphragm on your I-Phone. 🙂
And also my heartfelt compliments to all the artists who displayed their nightmares with amazing talent. Felicidades a todos los artistas que crearon estos alebrijes. 🙂
Y’all be good naw. Bonne semaine. Bonita semana. À la prochaine.