Monday, December 2, 2013


Ask anyone who has been to Papantla what impressed them most , and say , " The Flyers " . For those who never been on the coast of Veracruz, Mexico or even in , this is a tradition that takes place in Mexico but has spread worldwide . The flyers have been filed in the United States, and even in Paris and Madrid to Tokyo and Moscow. So, who are the Flyers , and why are they famous ? It is impressive to see the spectacle of four men literally "flying " when using a 30 meter pole secured only by a rope tied around their waists . Even more amazing is the musician , called the Caporal that swings on a
narrow wooden platform without a network or lanyard.

El Caporal plays a drum and flute and invokes an ancient spiritual offering in the form of a spectacular dance.  If you present the ceremony which will seeEl Caporal rises on high to face the four cardinal directions, tilt and open your arms , maintain balance on one foot, and perform intricate footwork while playing flute and drum! No matter how many times I see it , will always be a beautiful sight , the shock and sound of the flute and the drum will stay with you long after you've returned home. The history of ceremonial flight Flying is shrouded in the mists of antiquity. Information on the original ritual was partially lost when the invading conquerors of Spain destroyed many documents and codices of the indigenous cultures. Fortunately , enough survived through oral history and material written by early visitors to New Spain , thanks to that anthropologists and historians have been able to document at least part of the history of this ancient religious practice and how it has developed over time .

 A Totonac myth tells of a time when there was a drought , and food and water scarce in the land . Five young men decided that they should send a message to Xipe Totec , god of fertility , so that the rains would return and nurture the soil and crops prosper again. Entered the forest and sought the highest and straightest tree. When they found the perfect tree, they stayed with him overnight, fasting and praying for the tree to help them in their purpose. Blessed the tree, then felled and taken the next day to his village avoiding it touched the ground to the point of perfect location for their ritual.

The men stripped the tree of its leaves and branches, dug a hole to stand it upright , then blessed the site with ritual offerings . The men adorned their bodies with feathers so they appeared like birds to Xipe Totec in the hope of attracting the attention of God to their important request . With cords wrapped around their waists, they secured the post and made their plea to fly with the haunting sound of the flute and drum . In pre-Hispanic times, the ritual of the Flyers was conducted largely coming from Mexico south to what is now Nicaragua .

It was made every 52 years ( in the changes of the century ) , trasmitiéndose tradition from father to son . At the time of the conquest , the church fought hard against what he considered pagan practices , and worship and indigenous rituals were silenced or held in secret. Later, the native beliefs were combined with Catholic religious dogma , creating a syncretism of faith. Flying flying was considered an interesting game for the Colony in New Spain , and some special places were constructed where the Flyers appear before the curious public. After some time the ritual was falling into disuse , to the point that only some Totonac and Otomi performed this ancient practice.

  Today, people of Totonac takes flight Flying for several reasons. First, it keeps a part of your pride and traditional culture alive. Second, it provides additional income for the Flyers and their families. Normally a donation is requested upon completion each flight. Flights often on weekends and evenings in the streets of towns and totonacas important holidays in this village are also made . And finally , it provides a sense of racial pride . Like other folk dances and music from around the world, is a way to celebrate the cultural heritage and diversity. The Flyers are a source of great pride for Totonocapan - Totonac region . In Papantla, the center of the vanilla industry , there is a statue of a large stone Volador looking down on the city from one of the highest points