Dance of the Quetzals from Dances of Mexico

Maker and role
Artist: Carlos Mérida, Guatemalan, 1891-1984
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Object detail

14 1/2 x 11 3/4in (36.8 x 29.8cm)
Credit line
Gift of Susan Toomey Frost
Accession number
Object type
Further information
The Dance of the Quetzals is an ancient ceremony of pre-Spanish origin, named after the sacred quetzal bird. It is generally performed at religious festivals in the mountain regions of the states of Puebla and Veracruz. Choreographically it is extremely active, at times even acrobatic. The costume is strikingly original. Keyed in red, its dominant reature is the great circular feather headdress which the dancers manage to carry skilfully through the rapid movements of the dance. The music, produced by a flute and a small drum, is primitive and penetrating; and its rhythm is further accentuated by a rattle used in the dance.
Subject period


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