Do you know the story of the Mazatlan Monigotes?

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MAZATLAN.- Paper mache, wire rod, and paint are some of the materials with which these carnival sculptures are made, which can measure up to eight meters high.

Que feos! dicen algunos mazatlecos sobre 'monigotes' del Carnaval 2019 |  #Lo más visto en redes | Noticias | TVP | TVPACIFICO.MX

In folk magic and witchcraft, a poppet (also known as poppitmoppetmommet or pippy) is a doll made to represent a person, for casting spells on that person or to aid that person through magic.[1] They are occasionally found lodged in chimneys. These dolls may be fashioned from such materials as a carved root, grain or corn shafts, a fruit, paper, wax, a potato, clay, branches, or cloth stuffed with herbs with the intent that any actions performed upon the effigy will be transferred to the subject based on sympathetic magic.[1][2] Poppets are also used as kitchen witch figures.

Every year, a month before the International Carnival of Mazatlan takes place, figures alluding to the theme of the festival called “Monigotes” are placed on the Malecón and Plazuela Machado.


Esculturas gigantes aguardan inicio de Carnaval de Mazatlán

What is a poppet?

According to the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, the term “monigote” is completely colloquial and refers both to a “ridiculous doll or figure made of rags or something similar”, but also to a “poorly made painting or statue”.

Paper mache, wire rod, and paint are some of the materials with which these carnival sculptures are made, which can measure up to eight meters in height.

Llegan los Monigotes de “Patasalada: El circo de los talentos” - Que pasa  en Mazatlán

And although we could not imagine them in another place, according to the Institute of Culture, the puppets were not always located along the boardwalk, but in the 50’s it was customary to mount two large figures to cross two corners in the Plazuela República; however, they were totally different figures to those we see today, with more details and made with better technique.

Fallas in Valencia

But it was not until the 90’s that the Institute of Culture decided to install great allegories, also alluding to the Fallas de Valencia, where local artists and artisans worked for months to create figures that manage to exceed 30 meters with satirical themes, which are burned in a show on the last day of the festival. And that is how by accident they created the first puppets, they did not imagine that they would become such an important part of Mazatlan culture.

Historia, origen y actualidad de las fallas de Valencia - PyroShopping

The poppets were fine, but they wanted to improve them and make them more artistic, so in 1993, the painter, sculptor, and set designer Jorge González Neri from Monterrey was invited to design the great figures, who was already participating in the making of floats for the parade. Master Neri participated in the creation of these popular figures until the 2020 Carnival, since he recently passed away.

A Complete Guide To Mazatlan Carnaval

It is important to emphasize that the poppets are designed according to the Carnival theme, for example, in the 2020 edition the theme was “We are all America” ​​the puppets alluded to the countries of Latin America and the characters that most represent them.

Monigotes del Carnaval de Mazatlán, ardua labor de pintor y escultor

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