Juan Aquino, in traje tipico (typical traditional dress) at a Guelaguetza at UCLA. Guelaguetza is festival of dancing, singing, and food. 5/23/15
Xochitl and Guillermo in between dancing at a Guelaguetza at UCLA. Guillermo introduced me to his dance practices and later introduced me to his cousin, Esteban Zúñiga Ruiz.
Western and Pico. This is the apex of the Oaxacan community in Los Angeles. The area has a strong Central American presence and neighbors the vibrant Koreatown.
Erick Felipe in traditional dressed called tiliches.
Guests at a graduation party. South LA. 6/6/15
Esteban Zúñiga Ruiz, a musician and band leader leading the band Banda Cielo Oaxaqueño.
The Rivera family. Senora Rivera asked me to take photographs of the graduation.
Rosalinda, at her practice for Danza De Los Negritos. 6/20/15
Fiesta Patronales for San Bartolomé Zoogocho. West Adams. 6/27/15
Rosario being led to honor San Bartolomé Zoogocho the patron saint of the town Zoogocho. The young dancers (in white shirts) sit up front to receive blessing for their dance Los Cuerudos honoring their saint.
Members from the Zoogocho community take flowers and line up outside. They return and offer the flowers to their saint. This also introduces the dance group.
Spaniards brought over catholicism and eradicated indigenous religion. The patron saint of each village is held in a higher regard than Jesus or the Virgin Mary.
Kimberly, Jennifer, Daniel, and Carlos about to perform the Danza de Los Cuerudos.
A back yard in West Adams turned into a social gathering to celebrate Zapotec culture. On this day the Zoogoch community came out to support the presentación of the Danza de los Negritos. 8/2/15
An alter for San Bartolomé Zoogocho.
Danza de los Negritos. This presentation shows the community what they have been working on and builds up to their final performance in full costume.
Andrea and Nancy before their perfomance.
Calenda from Crenshaw to Normandie on Pico Blvd. Pico was closed off so various groups from the community could sing and dance. The dancer wears a type of dress called tiliches. It originates from Putla Villa de Guerreo and is Mixteco from Western Oaxaca. 8/5/15
Maritza, reina vela Muxe LA. Muxe are third gender people from Oaxaca widely accepted by the Zapotec people.
The women of the community start working days before an event in food preparations to feed large numbers of people. Vernon.
Eladio Benigno, Bellaco. Union Social Zoogochense. Vernon. 8/30/15
El Mariachi Alma Del Oeste
Followers of the saint San Bartolomé Zoogocho wait to say a prayer at an altar for him.
Final perfomance of an all girl dance group performing Danza de los Negritos. The exact history of dance is unknown. It is believed to be come from Spanish and African origins in the 1500s.
The group worked on this dance for 9 month culminating on a day of performance for the community. This is typically an all male dance.
The division of labor at events is highly organized. Committees are formed to ensure efficiency. Both men and women are involved in the various aspects of producing sometimes large scale events. These men were responsible for the building of tarps, canopies, and the physical aspects of the event.