Thursday, November 30, 2023

Oaxaca mayor celebrates annual wedding—to the lizard princess

In an annual fertility ritual, the mayor of San Pedro Huamelula, Oaxaca, has once again married a lizard.

The ritual, which is celebrated every year near the end of June on the town’s patron saint day, saw Mayor Virgilio Fuentes wed “the Lizard Princess,” who is believed to be a representation of a female deity of the region’s Huave people.

According to local officials and academics, the union symbolizes the balance between man and nature and is thought to be able to bestow rain and good harvests on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec community. Additionally, the ceremony also reaffirms a pact of brotherhood between the Huave and Chontal peoples.

To prepare for the wedding, the Lizard Princess — actually a crocodile — is baptized in the San Pedro Apóstol church before she is dressed in a white wedding dress and crowned with a wreath of flowers. A community leader then takes over, cradling the bride in her arms and dancing her door to door through the pueblo, accompanied by a traditional band.

At the same time, residents don costumes and accompany the wedding procession through the town. Before entering municipal headquarters, the bride’s party pauses briefly for the town elders to cast fishing nets to ask for permission to marry off the reptilian damsel.

The bride in her wedding dress — and snout tied shut.
The bride in her wedding dress — and snout tied shut.

Once inside, city council members gather round to witness the proceedings, where the mayor lays eyes upon his bride for the first time in her wedding dress. Man and crocodile then consummate their union with a kiss.

The marriage sealed, the mayor rushes out of city hall to dance in a display of contentment before the whole pueblo, officially closing the ceremony — until next year.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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