How does Christmas look like for Mayos and Yaquis?

In Sonora, only the Yaqui and May indigenous groups, from the eight original ethnic groups, perform rituals for the celebration of Christmas, because they are the ones that had the greatest impact from Catholicism.

The traditional indigenous celebrations, related to the Christmas festivities, are a syncretism - an attempt to call it quits with different doctrines - between the indigenous tradition and what the Jesuit missionaries taught the Latin American ethnic groups.

Yaqui and Mayo ethnic groups are settled in southern Sonora, in agricultural valleys bearing the same ethnic names, which in fact are the most numerous of the eight that exist in the state.

The researcher of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in Sonora, José Luis Moctezuma Zamarrón, explained in an interview with Notimex that the Yaqui and Mayo Christmas rituals are organized by themselves.

He mentioned that the celebrations are not developed within the so-called orthodox Catholicism, because they do not require priests to carry out the rituals, which are organized by the same ethnic groups.

"That's why we speak of native Catholicism, because there are no masses, there is nothing of that type where Catholic priests participate, but it's the same organized groups that do the rituals and carry them out," he said.

The specialist in language and culture of indigenous groups in northern Mexico, especially Yaquis and Mayos, reported that the Yaqui holiday celebrations take place only in the town called Loma de Bácum.

There, he said, the indigenous develop a pastorella that has a series of characteristics similar to the one that is made in the catholic religion, to represent the Birth of the child God.

the first hours of 25 of December, with some hours of duration.

The representation involves several participants who develop different roles or roles and the most striking of this celebration is that instead of the devil, pascolas appear as evil, funny and playful.

Pascolas - an element very typical of these ethnic groups - dance during the ceremony of birth in the representation of the pastorella, are led by singers and teachers prayers, he said.

On the other hand, Moctezuma Zamarrón noted that in the case of the Mayo ethnicity, the various peoples celebrate Christmas celebrations and rituals on December 24, which consist of specific activities such as the representation of the birth of Jesus.

Likewise, the partiers who organize the celebration, wave the flags of the various congregations of the town when the baby Jesus is born to welcome him.

The researcher of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in Sonora, said that there are no vestiges that other indigenous groups have held special celebrations at this time.

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