Vamos a la feria

One of the many great gatherings during the Christmas season in Mexico happens around the feria or fair (although it is interesting that the Spanish meaning of the word differs from the French etymological meaning and English usage in that in Hispanic American cultures, feria means a holiday, religious function, and fair, whereas in Anglo American cultures it is solely associated with the selling and buying of goods and not related to religious festivities or holidays). These photos are from the feria held in honor of the Virgen de Guadalupe, whose holiday was just celebrated last week, on December 12th.

Atardecer en una esquina.

Atardecer sobre García Vigil y Leona Vicario. As I walked home this evening, I looked over my shoulder and stopped. Many other pedestrians, some going out to dinner or for a walk, others clearly heading somewhere on business, also stopped to take in the sunset. Captured by accident in this photo is a stray dog who usually hangs outside La Popular, the corner restaurant. He likes to chase the cars as they come down García Vigil. Tonight, though, he was just passing the time.

Hombre-Coyote y Maíz

An example of the detailed graphic art that captivates pedestrians on the streets of Oaxaca. Note how a narrative unfolds from left to right: the corn stalk on the window frame leads to the mesmerized coyote-man holding the sacred grain, then, if you’re paying attention, the rooster peeking down from the doorframe comes into sight, and finally leads to the two corn cobs (mazorcas) resting on the bottom right corner of the door.  The scene is probably a homage to the fundamental role that maize plays, to this day, in Mesoamerican cultures and identities. Oaxaca prides itself in its resistance to GMOs and fiercely defends the indigenous variety known as maíz criollo from contamination by GM varieties.