Jim Morrison, lead vocalist of The Doors, once said in his song “The Celebration Of The Lizard” : I am the Lizard King, I can do anything!
Well, the mayor of San Pedro Huamelula, a municipality of several thousand people in the isthmus region of Oaxaca, took this statement to a whole new level when he got married last month in not an ordinary kind of wedding.
Indeed, there was nothing ordinary about the bride either, who is barely 18 months old, and she is a crocodile!!!
The “lizard princess”, as she is known, is the symbolic daughter of the Huave people and the totem figure of the nearby town of San Mateo del Mar. Each year, she is offered in matrimony to the mayor of San Pedro Huamelula in a rite of amity and fertility. Both towns lie close to the port of Salina Cruz, on the Pacific coast of the state of Oaxaca.
Wearing a blue and green dress and red plastic flowers on her head, the squirming lizard princess visits every home in Huamelula accompanied by a band of musicians. Despite having her jaws fastened shut by a white ribbon, the princess looks colorful and festive, her finery erasing all her ferocity.
“She is now a holy being,” says town chronicler Jaime Zárate Escamilla.
Before the wedding, the princess child, as the crocodile is also called, is baptized by the town’s seniors at the San Pedro Apóstol church, “removing all of its bestiality,” says councilor Flor de Liz Aquino Hernández, whose job it is to find and capture the 18 month-old reptile.
Following the baptism, the bride-to-be is introduced to residents.
José Trinidad Pomposo is in charge of carrying the lizard princess in a saunter across town. He wears a traditional manta outfit and is the captain of the mareño comparsa, one of the five dancing troupes that escort the princess. Mareños are also known as Huaves or Guapis; the other four troupes are the Muljú (blacks); the Pichilinguis (turks); the Caballeros (guardians); and the Mulyatas (mulattas), homosexual men who don traditional chontal dresses.
Trinidad presents the princess to the people of Huamelula, visiting them at their homes and solemnly proclaiming: “I come, as is our people’s tradition, to introduce the lizard princess to you, so you get a chance to meet her, hoping that the rains will be benevolent, and that sickness may stay away from you and yours. That your life is good and your harvest, bountiful. Now, you can dance with the bride.”
For their part, each household makes a symbolic contribution to the mareños of 10 to 100 pesos and then people have a chance to carry the bride and dance with her on their patios, fulfilling the bonding ritual with the lizard princess.
At the end of her two-hour tour around town, the princess returns to the house of her padrinos, the godparents. She is dressed in her wedding gown and then she waits for the groom, Mayor Joel Vásquez Rojas, and the Guapis troupe to take her to the Palacio Municipal, or city hall.
At the entrance to city hall two elderly men throw their casting nets to the four cardinal points of the compass, beseeching permission and blessings for the princess’ matrimony.
The wedding proper takes place before the town council, where after one hour of negotiations the marital bond is completed, and a kiss between the the mayor and the princess seals the deal. The former then takes his bride to the town’s central plaza where they dance a son before the townspeople, fulfilling the tradition for yet another year.
The wedding represents the relationship between humankind and nature, explains Vásquez Rojas, and is also a way of honoring the fraternity between the Huave and Chontal people, who have always shared the Pacific seaboard.
“This is a pact with which we seek the harmonization of nature and humankind. Huamelula is a magical town that honors and preserves these fertility festivities, through which we ask for a good fishing and farming year. On this day we close our pact with the sea, with the sky and the land. We thus maintain an equilibrium, giving everything its proper perspective without altering or destroying,” explained the mayor.
The wedding festivities in Huamelula began on June 23. Traditional dancing and theatrical representations of the Spanish conquest take place for a week, ending on the 30th.
– Source: http://mexiconewsdaily.com/
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