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Dance of the Matlachines

SONES FOR THE VIRGIN

In addition to Aguascalientes, the tradition of Matlachines is found in states such as San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas and Coahuila, being a predominant dance in the celebrations of the Day of the Holy Cross, the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe and August 15, where the Romería is celebrated in Aguascalientes.

The dress is very peculiar and is characterized by wearing on the head a "tuft" embroidered with beads and sequins, which is mounted on a cardboard base; turkey feathers painted in colors such as green, white, red, yellow and two braids woven with ribbons of bright colors are used.

The shirt and calzonera (trousers buttoned down the sides) are bright colors with white stripes and red socks. Another element is the so-called "Naguillas", which are two pieces of rectangular cloth also embroidered with beads and sequins. In the hands they carry a bow and a rattle made of guaje.

The music that follows is that of songs that have passed from generation to generation, such as: The Lobita, El Borracho, El Salinas, El Indio, Las Conchitas, El Meco, El Cangrejo, El Cenzontle, Rancho Nuevo, Las Cuchillas, El Bonito , El Borras and others ...

The dancers execute the hunched movements, marking the difficult footsteps with force. They are arranged in two parallel lines, in which the captains are followed, who go around the row, to always reach where they started.

In some games, the traditional choreography varies: it can form a large circle, as in the "El Torito"; rows of four, as in the "Cuatro y Cuatro" or a large row as in the "Viborita".

With respect to the "capitanes" (captains), it is important to highlight that in the dance there is a special formation with leadership positions:

- Two "capitanes" ahead and two behind, they are the ones who initiate the footsteps to follow according to the interpretation.

- Two "barriguitas", which follow the captains. Two against tidebells back and several dancers that can be from two, up to ten or more.

- And a "viejo de la danza" or "moreno" who corresponds to organize, bring order and discipline the dancers and the public. This is distinguished by wearing a mask, a whip and a stuffed animal. Hanging from their clothes are bottle caps, rags, and other similar items.

Colorful, bright and colorful is the Dance of the Matlachines, inherited from parents to children for the most significant religious festivities, in a mood of rejoicing for the participants, and for those who have the opportunity to witness it!

Galería Danza de Matlachines

Marvel at the sights of Dance of the Matlachines with this photos

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Danza de los Matlachines

Learn more about Dance of the Matlachines’s history with this audio guide

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