Saturday, October 10, 2009

Los Voladores (The Flyers)

The parade had thinned to a few face-painted stragglers, and the crowd shifted toward the open courtyard in front of the Parroquia. A steel column fitted with rungs had been erected center-plaza, towering a dozen stories above the crowd, with a crow’s nest affair perched on top. Four intrepid souls in traditional dress scaled the tower, each dragging a rope skyward. As these brave fellows wound their ropes onto a spindle drum, a fifth followed them to the top, toting drum and flute. All the while, Aztec warriors in feathered headdress and ankle rattles danced around the base of the column, accompanied by the incessant drumming. Attention was drawn skyward as the climbers fell backwards off their perches, ropes tied around their waists. The voladores swung wider and wider as the spindle paid out, gradually spiraling headfirst into the berattled Aztec warriors below, to the hysterical tones of the flautist who perched and posed atop the tower.
But even more theatrical moments awaited: next on our SMA Daze agenda was El Torero (bullfight). 
(For more pix of the flyers, plus a short video clip, go to

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