Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Celebrating.....Part 1

August 17, 1850. That was the day that Isla Mujeres claims to have been officially founded. And this past weekend the whole island celebrated the 160th anniversary.

Saturday night we grabbed Carlos' new bride, Andrea, and her sister, the lovely Isal, and headed downtown to check things out. We had also promised Isal to take her to the carnival and a promise is a promise!

The bleachers at the downtown basketball court have received a new coat of paint. The optical illusion is very good. You can hardly tell that these are cement bleachers.

The stage erected on the town square was hopping as we arrived. I caught part of this dance troop from the side of the stage. They were performing a folk dance from Chihauhau at the time.

We worked our way around to the front. The troop had disappeared and were replaced by this single couple. Could they dance or what! I grew exhausted just watching that animated stepping they did.

I had to use extreme zoom to get that picture above. Otherwise, for those of us not able to get close to the stage, they had set up the giant TV screen again.

Next came dancers representing the state of Chiapas. Supposedly in native costume. I have been to Chiapas many times and spent some time there. I never saw a lady dressed like this. Maybe it is just a costume for festive occasions. Maybe they think we don't know any better.

I have seen this though. It is a highly choreographed dance number using machetes. I am amazed that they don't hurt each other, or themselves, swinging those things around. They also clang them together. Anybody who has been here recently during high season has probably seen this dance performed by a street dancer who visits from Chiapas.

Along the back wall they had constructed little houses, replicating the original wooden houses found on the island. A few of them are still standing downtown. Not many though. The most interesting one had pictures from the 1950's, 60's and 70's. Seeing what the beaches, downtown and the town square looked like back then was fascinating.
One building even had a replica boat in front. Of course, Isal had to pose for a picture in it!
Tomorrow we will stroll out onto the malecon (boardwalk) and have a look see at my favorite part of any festival....the carnival!


Jane said...

The bleachers mural is amazing, and the regional costumes gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.
I'm glad some islanders are recording and preserving their history. About 15 years ago, I photographed old buildings throughout el centro; had this feeling they'd soon be gone.

Life's a Beach! said...

Thanks Wayne! I love all of it, especially the bleachers! Isal's a cutie!

Steve Cotton said...

Isal appears to be sitting as a little girl, rather than as a chica in training. Good.

Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

what a great fiesta, very colorful!

Linda said...

LOVE the bleachers' paint job!!!

Glad you're getting out & about again! Love your reports about what's happening around the island!


Ann said...

Thanks for taking us along for the evening! I took video of the dancer with the machetes in January--amazing to watch!

Anonymous said...

The dancers from Chiapas are dressed as "La Chiapaneca" and generally dance to a song by the same name. The costume is traditional and you will see this dance performed at most celebrations in Chiapas..along with the Parachicos.

Jane said...

Re. Chiapas costumes. I remember seeing exceptional embroidery work like this being sold by women standing along roadsides. Kicked myself later for not stopping to buy any. In San Juan Chamula, I did purchase a few beautifully hand-crafted fabric items at such ridiculously low prices, that I kicked myself later for not purchasing more!!!

Anonymous said...

I just wanna see Jane kick herself multiple times....!

O Robert

Jackie said...

The bleachers look great. So nice to see more sprucing up around the island.

Jane said...

O Robert, you better watch out for my Betty White frying pan!!!

lisa said...

Looks and sounds like fun!

Anonymous said...

looks like a fun evening. wish i could have been there. i wish i could just take a month and travel through mexico, but can't afford to right now. when we retire in 6years, we will be what i call "rainbirds", since we get more rain than snow in this area. we look forward to spending 4 months out of the year in warmer climes, mexico will definitely be one of those places.

looking roward to pix of the carnival.

teresa in lake stevens

Anonymous said...

The "Mayan" bleachers are awesome!