Monday, June 24, 2024

New 4-meter-tall puppet generates controversy in Puebla city

After the lean years of the pandemic, the Magical Town of Atlixco, Puebla, wants to lure tourists back with a new cultural and commercial route. But one aspect of a parade the town held on Sunday to inaugurate it  — a 4-meter-tall papier mache puppet named La Morenita — left some residents with a bad taste in their mouths.

Opponents said the mojiganga — a traditional larger-than-life puppet worn by a person as they dance in the streets in parades, weddings and other events — was a waste of money and amounted to political propaganda.

La Morenita — featuring cinnamon-colored skin, black hair, and a traditional skirt and blouse — was definitely the star of the show as many oohed and aahed over her construction and beauty. It took six men to hold La Morenita up so she could dance in the street, a good indication of her weight and size; normally a mojiganga can be managed by a single person.

The parade revived an annual mojiganga procession in Atlixco that had been suspended for 10 years. This year’s event featured 40 mojigangas, many of them local favorites from past parades brought out of retirement this year.

While the puppets were warmly welcomed by residents and tourists alike, not everyone was pleased with newcomer La Morenita.

Opponents said that she was an unnecessary use of municipal funds that could have gone for other needs. The color of her traditional skirt — which matches the colors of the country’s ruling Morena party, likely not an accident, given her name — also created controversy.

Nevertheless, La Morenita is now installed as a permanent decoration in the city’s main plaza,  while some local residents continue to protest her presence as overtly political.

With reports from E-consulta and Ultra Noticias

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