Dance of the Crescent Moon 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
Like most of the Indian dances of Mexico the Dance of the Crescent Moon is a religious act, performed in connection with some religious holiday. It is danced in the state of Mexico, near Mexico city, and most solemnly in the village of Ixtapan de la Sal. Its unique costume is at the same time sober and highly theatrical, set off by the half-moon worn on the dancers' heads. The steps mark a vigorous rhythm, and reveal a strong sense of form. The music, made with drums and bamboo flutes, follows a traditional pattern. The dancers accent the rhythm with strokes of their short swords.
Subject period


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