14 1/2 x 11 3/4in (36.8 x 29.8cm)
Gift of Susan Toomey Frost
The theme of this dance, performed ceremonially in the state of Guerrero, is land hunger. It is dramatized in seven sequences that are stirring miracles of human feeling. Successively the dancers search for land, find it, share it out, prepare their farming implements, burn down the brush, seed the soil (symbolically beating it), leave, and then return for the harvest. The dance-rhythms are slow and solemn, and the costumes, made of rough sack-cloth, heighten the austere nobility of the spectacle. Red masks, roughly carved, provide the only accent. The rhythm is carried by drums and flutes.
Carlos Mérida (Guatemalan, b.1891, d.1984)