Danza del venado


Malichi, malichi, malichi” (Ciervo, ciervo, ciervo)
Yeu se gueye cai tuca aniapo” (Al mundo va saliendo de noche)
Ca into segua bampo yeyegue” (Ya no juega el agua ni la flor).

This is the first of the verses, in the Yaqui language and in Spanish, of the Danza del Venado; one of the most appreciated Mexican dance expressions within the country, and the world.

In its universal context, this dance refers to a symbolism that implies the sacrifice of a deity for the regeneration of life. For the indigenous Yaquis and Mayos of the states of Sonora and Sinaloa, it is an ancestral ritual in which the deity is the Whitetail deer, which still inhabits the ecosystems around the desert of northern Mexico.

The respect and veneration of the Mexican indigenous for the environment, led them to recognize the essential beauty of this living being: its agility, the elegance of its movements and its noble existence (as it is a king in the countryside, while feeding of wolves and humans, so it is considered an act of dignity to praise him in his sacrifice).

From the western point of view, the Deer Dance is the drama of life and death, in reference to the act of hunting. In the pre-Hispanic cosmogony attention is paid to the details that make this existence something sacred, something that beautifies the world, that gives it balance and grace, and that not only means consumption of one against the other.

For the dance ritual four characters are required: The deer, an agile, thin and strong young man, dedicated as a child (nourished and specially prepared by his community to play the main role). Two hunters or pascolames, who also represent the natural circumstances in the life of the deer, like a snake, a river, a palisade ...

The complement of the staging, is the singer, who as a juggler declames the verses and tells the drama in the primitive language.

The young man who plays the deer disguises himself with a headdress made with a dissected head, dances barefoot wearing a blanket of a blanket, bare-chested; He uses bandanas tied around his wrists and a handkerchief decorated with ribbons or flowers, covering part of his face leaving his eyes free. All the time, with both hands, he repairs using some rattles.

The pascolames wear a full suit of blanket and a black mask painted white and adorned with beards of vegetable fibers; They carry hunting arches and rattles with which from the beginning they imitate the movements of the deer to attract it, harass it and, finally, kill it.

The dancing deer is so deeply abstracted from the character that he jumps, moves his head, wallows and drinks water, just as the soul of the animal was acquired, which results in a spectacular and moving act.

There is a syncretic force that makes the Deer Dance a universal ritual. In it they intertwine: love and understanding for nature; the beauty of the movements that recreate contemporary dance, and the passion of life and death in a sequence of episodes worthy of other stories of sacrifice ...

Galería - La danza del venado

Marvel at the sight of Danza del venado with this photo gallery

Danza del Venado

All you must know about Danza del venado here, in our audio guide


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