Guelaguetza is the biggest celebration of the year in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca that spans the last couple weeks in July.
It is an indigenous cultural celebration in which the eight different geographic and cultural regions of Oaxaca come together in the the capitol city to showcase their unique styles of dance, dress, food and artisanal crafts.
The event is centered around parades that wind boisterously through the cobblestone streets of the city and traditional (often gender-separated) group dancing in a special costumes that carry a historical and cultural meaning. There is local art, such as pre-hispanic weaving, exhibited and special local dishes sampled. And to drink, the smoky agave alcohol favored by all Oaxaqueños: mezcal.
While Guelaguetza can be a rowdy party and has become an important tourist attraction, is also retains a deep cultural importance for the people of the state and helps to preserve the beautiful and diverse indigenous culture[s] of Oaxaca. As helping to preserve the ancient weaving culture for the Zapotec people is in the Manos Zapotecas mission statement, this is definitely a celebration we can get behind. That, and we love a good party!
Local Oaxacan photographer and videographer Jerry Audiffred has offered MZ use of his spectacular photos from the event.
Check out more of his work on his Tumblr.