Saturday, 5 September 2015

Days of Significance- July 25

We're nearly finished with our time in Mexico, but even after spending two years here and constantly looking for new things to see and experience, we are always learning about more that we could do.  For the last few weeks, that has been the Dance of the Tastoanes.  We missed it last year because we weren't in Guadalajara most of the summer but this year we saw the dance in San Juan de Ocotan, Nextipac, Ixcatan, and Tonala. This post has a brief description ( of the dance and the meaning behind it with links to other sources about it.

It was interesting to visit 4 different places because the masks are never the same and there are distinctive styles in different towns. We also talked to two different mask makers, one in Ocotan and another in Tonala, who were able to tell us a lot about the masks and the dance and its importance to the people there.  The masks in Ocotan are handmade of leather and wood, the masks in Tonala are often ceramic, and commercial masks made of plastic or leather are used in Nextipac. Ixcatan in a forested and isolated place and the masks were often made of wood or were animal heads or skulls.

There is very little indigenous influence left in this part of Mexico in comparison to much of the rest of the country so this was something truly unique.


San Juan de Ocotan


Amira is a peripatetic homeschooler currently living in Mexico.  She loves food, books, geysers, ruins, rain, and rocky beaches. She blogs at

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