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Voladores, guests of heaven #PatrimoniosUNESCOMX

Mexico has diverse cultural activities from different Mesoamerican civilizations. One that has remained up to today and is even recognized as Cultural Heritage since 2009, is the Ritual Ceremony of the Voladores (flying men).

The flying rite is a pre-Hispanic activity related to fertility and respect for nature and the spiritual universe. Although according to some records, it was previously related to religious cults and sacrifice.

This representation had the purpose of asking for rain whenever the long periods of drought came. In fact, the descent of the dancers actually symbolize pouring rain.

Voladores, guests of heaven

The tradition is kept alive by bahías and totonacos, and the most known place to see this ritual is Papantla, in Veracruz. The dancers are known as Papantla Voladores.

This dance has also a place in Mexico City and Xcaret, where most tourist are.

Voladores, nature and tradition converge in this ritual

The ceremony starts from choosing and installing a mast built with newly cut wooden. The community asks for forgiveness to the woods where the mast was taken and in return, so they make offerings.

Voladores ceremony, cultural heritage.

Once installed, the ritual starts. Four young people climb up the 18-40 meter high mast only held by long ropes at their waist. A fifth dancer known as the caporal, sits at the top, plays the flute and a drum to honor the sun, the cardinal points and the wind. Once the invocation rite has started, the dancers dressed in colorful clothing, jump imitating the flight of a bird.

The Voladores Ceremony is an expression of the world through values of the community. And it is a great show for tourists and locals.

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Paola Uviarco

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