Plume Dance 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 Plume dance is one of the most beautiful and spectacular of the native Mexican dance-dramas. It is performed in the state of Oaxaca, principally in the towns of Zaachila, Cuilapam, Teotitlan del Valle and Zimatlan. Its theme is Conquest, describing the entry of Aztec conquerers into the land of the Zaachila Indians, and later the fall of Moctezuma's Aztec Empire. Malinche, Cortez, Moctezuma, and the other leading personages of the Spanish conquest all appear as individual performers. The choreography of this dance is lively, with strong marked rhythms, and is highly animated by the graceful, dramatic designs that the dancers trace with their immense multicolored plume headdresses. The musical accompaniment is made with string and wind instrument ensembles.
Subject period


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