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Published: November 4th 2018
One village we visited : ZINACANTAN
What's not to like about that name?
SC writes.. More trips out to different communities today, each of which has their own culture and way of celebrating the Day of Dead. See more on this below.
I tried the local brew, called "Posh". Not quite fire water but a clear tasteless 36%!p(MISSING)roof variant on Rum. Many locals drink it mixed with Coca Cola which has assumed mythical status in these parts. We saw many Coke bottles left on graves (the departed's favourite drink) filled will this hooch. We also saw many locals filled with it too...very very drunk indeed at 11:00
in the morning. Also today we saw more evidence of the damage caused by last year's earthquake: some 25 churches in and around San Cristobal were badly damaged and remain closed. One where 3 massive bells had fallen to the ground but remained intact only to be strung up in ground level on a metal frame. Nov 2nd is the day when more westernised folk celebrate and when the face paint comes out. We saw plenty..mainly younger people ..and have included a few photos of good examples. Our time here ended with a good, but not great, steak meal and an early night in preparation for
an early start on our way back to Guatamala.
Cj picks up the story...on 3rd November:
Today we left the Chiapas region of Mexico - and Mexico itself. The Chiapas is the highland region of Mexico. In the flat, coastal Yucatán women wore the traditional Mayan dress of square-cut shift with square neckline and very short sleeves, the neck and hemline heavily embroidered in glowing colours, over a broderie anglais lace edged petticoat. Here they wear a blouse with a very short yoke into which an accordion pleated body (often in a very bright colour) and very short, tapered sleeves is set. The skirt looks like a large, black Flokati rug - those hairy sheepskin type things everybody had in the ‘70s (well, I did anyway) which is wound round the body over the blouse and cinched with a 6inch belt. They end up with a huge fold of fabric right under the bosom - not terribly attractive, I have to say. In sunny weather they fold a large, thick shawl and stick it on top of their head for shade: when it cools off at night I suppose they wear it in a more ordinary way. The men,
who are more likely to work in towns, tend to Western dress. However, those in positions of authority in the community wear the Flokati rug - white this time - as a poncho, with rolled-brim cowboy hats.
There are 33 distinct Mayan cultures in the Chiapas, distinguished by both dress and language. Although all share a common root, it’s entirely possible that a mountain villager will be unable to communicate with some one half an hour away (by car) in the valley below. This also accounts for the variations in their Day of the Dead celebrations and other customs.
Things we won’t miss about Mexico: the sleeping policemen! Every wretched road is littered with them: the bus speeds along and then suddenly comings to screeching halt while it tiptoes over the bumps - and then tears off again at speed. Ok, maybe I exaggerate a tad, but not much!
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