The first time I saw a group of voladores performing their ritual in Chapultapec Park, I thought, “Hey, I could do that!” It turns out, not so much. Not only am I paralyzingly, pee-in-my-pants afraid of heights, I also don’t have an entire pueblo of friends to help me cut down a sacred tree in the jungles of Veracruz and drag it back to civilization.
Last weekend I had the privilege of visiting the Centro de las Artes Indígenas Xtaxkgakget Makgkaxtlawana (And you thought “chilangabacha” was a mouthful!) While I was there with a group of reporters from Chilangolandia, we got to tag along for a ceremony in which the voladores community trekked into the jungle to chop down a sacred tree that would be used for a new pole at the voladores school.
Before the voladores put the tree into the ground they had a ceremony where they threw a black chicken into the hole, where it would be crushed and systematically sacrificed under the weight of the pole. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried, folks. Consequently, the chicken that had been sacrificed earlier for the sake of my mole dinner, was absolutely delicious.
Check out the pics from the rest of the day-long ritual!