El Poch— Dance-Drama

El Poch— Dance-Drama

January 20
St. Sebastian's Day is celebrated throughout Latin America, but the event that takes place in Tenosique in Tabasco State, Mexico, on this day is unique. The dance-drama known as El Pochó involves most of the townspeople and anywhere from 15 to more than 60 dancers. Dancers each play one of three main characters. The cojóes are played by men who will engage in a struggle with the tigres, also played by men. The pochoveras are played by women.
On the morning of January 20 everyone gathers at the prearranged location, a house or a plaza. The pochoveras enter in their long skirts and embroidered blouses and perform the initial dance. Then the cojóes enter, wearing masks with exaggerated features, representing the best and worst in humans. Soon the tigres (jaguars) invade the dance space, and the cojóes and tigres play at hunting each other until, finally, they join forces to chase the audience.
SOURCES:
FiestaTime-1965, p. 15