Homage to Cuauhtemoc

Homage to Cuauhtemoc (Homenaje a Cuauhtemoc)

Cuauhtemoc, the last Aztec emperor, is honored each year with a festival held in front of his statue on the Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City. After the story of his life and his struggle against the Spaniards has been recited in Spanish and native Indian languages, groups of Conchero dancers perform the dances for which they are renowned. Wearing feathered headdresses trimmed with mirrors and beads and carrying pictures of Christ or various saints, they represent the blending of Indian and Spanish cultures. Most Conchero groups have 50 to 100 dancers, and each dances in his own rhythm and to his own accompaniment. The tempo increases gradually until it reaches a sudden climax, followed by a moment of silence.
Cuauhtemoc is admired for his "bold and intimate acceptance of death," in the words of the Mexican poet Octavio Paz. Paz says that the entry of the Spanish into Mexico precipitated the extinction of the Aztec culture.
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IntlThFolk-1979, p. 273
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.