Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Walk

Walking to the Christmas Market

Piñatas on their Way to Market

Vendor emerges from a Sea of Color

Young Artist Adds Finishing Touches 

Slumbering Till Christmas Day

Walking towards the Bellas Artes

Dinosaur Sized Cricket

Entering the Bellas Artes

Greeted by a Mojiganga

Smiling Señoras

Artisan Heritage of Mojiganga Painting

Bejeweled Calaca

Workshop of the Luthier

Deep Water Wall Textures 

Intersection of Color

Lonely Cloud 

Mojigangas are the giant dancing puppets that add festive energy to celebrations. Tradition dates these figures of cardboard, paper and cloth to the 1600's when they were brought by Spaniards to San Miguel de Allende. During religious pilgrimages they were designed to evoke joy and were crafted as effigies of saints and kings. Over time Mexican artisans fashioned them satirically to poke fun at public figures. Local craftsman use materials available to them and making a puppet involves creating the frame of the body in the same "castillo" style of making fireworks. The head is like a piñata and the hands are often sewn or made from paper maché. The sewing of the costumes, painting of the faces and adding of embellishment breathes personality into these larger than life puppets. There is nothing quite like seeing these lively figures dance and I filmed this last night in the zocalo.

Santiago with 2 Mojiganga Dancers


  1. conosco estos mojigangas! cuando estuve en SMA, había una boda, con un desfile en el centro, con estos mismos mojigangas! pensé que ellos representaban los novios!

  2. Marie-You are right these 2 were connected to an evening wedding. Artisans pass this skill down through their families and San Miguel is lucky to have several talented craftsman.
    Seguimos en San Miguel y pensando mucho en nuestros amigos. Feliz Ano Nuevo!