TLAQUEPAQUE, Jalisco, Mexico - Field Research
05.2023 - present

Tlaquepaque, or, the place above the clay land, built upon shards of blown glass and pottery. Tlaquepaque, a name derived from the Aztec Nahuatl dialect, celebrates a vibrant culture of craft making. Embracing the whimsical elements of Mexican Surrealism, a walk down Calle Morelos is a journey into imagination.

Danza de los Voladores, Dance of the Flyers, a plea to the gods for an end to drought. Climbing up to 100 feet in the air onto a pole or tree, dancers in this Mesoamerican ritual adorned in elaborate costumes take a synchronized leap of faith into the formidable world below. Falling in hopes that rains will come.

While the origins of the ritual are contested, many references to the dance have been traced back to the Huastec, Nahua and Otomi peoples. Over time, the ceremony has been named an Intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO to help ensure the continued practice of the ritual survives in the modern world when it might have otherwise been erased.