Like other Mexican traditions, the dance of the clowns makes our country scratch in magical realism …
Among our most bizarre traditions, the craze dance of the clowns of Veracruz, shines for its color that, in plain, preciously borders on magical realism.
In the religious festivals of Coatepec and Xico (towns of Veracruz ), men, women and children dress up with beautiful masks that recall the makeup of the old European clowns .The costumes are brightly colored, with floral patterned fabrics and huge pointed cardboard hats.
The clowns gather in groups called cuadrillas and together they go out to the streets to dance to the rhythm of a son jarocho with medieval tints. They are, perhaps unwittingly, witnesses who betray our indelible miscegenation and who flood Veracruz with surrealism.
The origin of this curious dance is not known much, although for those who have portrayed it or are interested in it, its syncretic nature is evident. The clown, according to the Veracruz researcher Obeth Colorado, could be a contemporary reference of the huezquixtles, pre-Hispanic characters that are equivalent to buffoons and jugglers, are subjects that amuse the court. Another local researcher, Jesus Bonilla, thinks that clowns entered the imaginary Veracruz in the sixteenth century, when religious orders made staging to bring communities closer to Catholic principles.
The locals do not seem to worry too much, for them the character is a way to approach the spiritual parties , which in a non-casual way, usually combine Catholic beliefs and images of virgins and saints with issues related to the sowing calendar, corn and deities and sacred sites of their indigenous ancestors .
The inexplicable figure, undoubtedly captivated, by enigmatic and peculiar. Maybe that’s whythe Argentine photographer Luján Agusti could not avoid capturing it in so many ways. Surprised by the almost omniscient presence of religion and the spiritual in our country, she has devoted much time to the exploration of this and other similar traditions.
On the other hand, Agusti is very strong the contrast between the festive brightness and the fervent participation of the population in religious rites and the daily lives of some residents, which, frankly, are very complex and develop in a troubled environment socio-political that often exceed them.
We agree with her and we say that the spectacular of these rites is not only the almost fantastic vision of the hundreds of clowns occupying the streets of Veracruz, but the strong community essence that emanates from these traditions. On the other hand, in Mexico, spirituality (and its appearance as a religion) is not precisely “the opium of the peoples”, unless this “drug” is understood as a door to a dimension of reality to which others are not. so sensitive
* Images: Luján Agusti
The Mazatlan Post