Presentation on theme: "Palaxtepetl Pilgrimage 2007 The ritual associated with a pilgrimage to the sacred mountain Palaxtepetl was organized by Nahua ritual specialist Teofilo."— Presentation transcript:
Palaxtepetl Pilgrimage 2007 The ritual associated with a pilgrimage to the sacred mountain Palaxtepetl was organized by Nahua ritual specialist Teofilo Jiménez Hernández as an offering to Chicomexochitl ("7-Flower"), the corn spirit. It was held March 9-10, 2007, in the village of Cacahuatengo, in the municipio of Ixhuatlán de Madero, Veracruz, Mexico. Photos were taken with a Nikon D50 digital SLR camera by Alan R. Sandstrom and Pamela Effrein Sandstrom. Please do not cite without permission. Alan R. Sandstrom Department of Anthropology Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) 2101 Coliseum Blvd. East Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805 firstname.lastname@example.org
Helpers make marigold and coyol palm adornments in preparation for ritual events to follow.
Helper constructs marigold and coyol palm star adornment for altars.
Ritual specialists cut sacred paper images of spirit entities to be addressed during the offering.
Helper unfolds paper image before placing it with others on paper petates (“beds”).
Helpers tie marigold and coyol palm adornments on sacred walking sticks as ritual specialists continue to cut thousands of paper images.
Altar in xochicali ("flower house" or shrine) showing coyol palm and marigold stars attached to arch.
Women undress paper images of seed spirits that are kept permanently by the ritual specialist. The women will wash and dry the clothing before replacing it on the paper figures.
Helper undresses paper image of seed spirit before washing and drying clothing.
Women tie folded paper “bones” on large paper images of the male and female aspects of the earth spirit before dressing each figure in new clothing.
Man ties string of marigolds that connects the main altar inside the xochicali with altar to the sun outside.
Photo showing marigold string connecting altar to the sun with main altar inside the xochicali.
Partially decorated altar called cruz afuera ("outside cross") dedicated to the sun.
Men make coyol palm and marigold adornments representing 7-Flower and 5-Flower, the male and female aspects of the corn spirit.
Closeup of main altar showing cut-paper ventanas ("windows") hanging to the left and right of the arch. Spirit entities observe the ritual and offerings through these portals. Note the small paper images of testigos ("witnesses") hanging from the marigold string who are said to report back to these powerful but distant spirits.
Closeup of window through which spirits observe the ritual offering.
Women dress paper images of seed spirits with freshly laundered clothes.
Closeup of woman dressing paper figure of seed spirit.
Two ritual specialists, in foreground, and helpers prepare sacred corn bundles.
Ritual specialist wraps sacred corn bundle in bandana.
Ritual specialist on left holds sacred walking stick while other women cradle dressed paper images of seed spirits as they dance before main altar in the xochicali.
Helpers continue to prepare additional sacred corn bundles.
Women adjust clothing on paper images of seed spirits.
Women dance before main altar holding water pot, carrying bag filled with dressed seed images and a water pot containing a dressed paper image of apanchanej, the water spirit. Men at right hold sacred walking sticks.
People dance before main altar. Thousands of paper figures are wrapped in the petate placed on the ground before the altar.
Closeup of petate containing the sacred paper images of the spirits.
Woman places candle on ground before main altar in the xochicali.
Woman sacralizes corn bundles with copal incense.
Two ritual specialists begin to lay out paper figures of disease-causing wind spirits before a generalized cleansing prior to the major offering inside the xochicali.
Darkened figures in foreground of the cleansing array are aspects of death. The large darkened figures are tlacatecolotl ("owl man") and his wife, leaders of the dead in mictlan, the underworld.
Ritual specialists chant over cleansing array on which offerings have been carefully arranged.
Ritual specialist on left holds sacred herbs as colleague, right, rings a bell to awaken the spirits.
Inside the xochicali, women dance before the altar holding the dressed paper images of the earth and seeds.
Ritual specialist spreads offerings directly on paper images of wind spirits.
Everyone in attendance must pass through a vine and marigold loop to cleanse them of polluting wind spirits.
Everyone passes beneath a branch of stinging nettle in an act of cleansing.
Ritual specialist rests after dedicating offering to wind spirits.
Female ritual specialist cleanses her colleague with sacred herbs.
People dance with coyol palm and marigold adornments before the main altar prior to dedicating a major offering to the spirits.
The dance with palm and flower adornments is called the entregada, "delivery of the offerings."
Sacrificial victims undergo mock combat in front of the main altar.
Dance continues before main altar with ritual specialists and helpers holding fowl to be sacrificed.
The birds' throats are cut and the blood is carefully spread on each one of the paper figures that have been laid on and beneath the altar.