Walking to the Christmas Market
Piñatas on their Way to Market
Vendor emerges from a Sea of Color
Young Artist Adds Finishing Touches 
Slumbering Till Christmas Day
Walking towards the Bellas Artes
Dinosaur Sized Cricket
Entering the Bellas Artes
Greeted by a Mojiganga

Smiling Señoras
Artisan Heritage of Mojiganga Painting

Bejeweled Calaca
Workshop of the Luthier
Deep Water Wall Textures 
Intersection of Color
Lonely Cloud 

Mojigangas are the giant dancing puppets that add festive energy to celebrations. Tradition dates these figures of cardboard, paper and cloth to the 1600’s when they were brought by Spaniards to San Miguel de Allende. During religious pilgrimages they were designed to evoke joy and were crafted as effigies of saints and kings. Over time Mexican artisans fashioned them satirically to poke fun at public figures. Local craftsman use materials available to them and making a puppet involves creating the frame of the body in the same “castillo” style of making fireworks. The head is like a piñata and the hands are often sewn or made from paper maché. The sewing of the costumes, painting of the faces and adding of embellishment breathes personality into these larger than life puppets. There is nothing quite like seeing these lively figures dance and I filmed this last night in the zocalo.

Santiago with 2 Mojiganga Dancers