The Masked Zayacos of Ajijic, Mexico

  • Photographer
    Dane Strom
  • Prize
    Honorable Mention
  • Date of Photograph
  • Technical Info
    digital images

Mexico is a country bursting with unique traditions, some of which are extremely local and barely known outside of their home town. The masked zayacos of Ajijic in Jalisco are one such example. For the six days of Carnival celebrations, young people put on masks and costumes, often taking the opportunity to dress as the opposite sex. A person who decides to dress up as a female zayaca will usually stuff it with balloons, in order to make herself more curvaceous, and use a purse to carry bags of baking flour. Then the zayacos lead the morning parades through town, chasing kids and teenagers, tackling them, shoving flour in their faces and down their pants and shirts. All while crowds of hundreds cram the streets for a view of the fun, which serves as a way to let off steam before the 40 days of Lent.

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