El Alba Magazine - Page 6

“My good friend and colleague, Guadalupe Tafoya of Taos, provided me with the research to support my request to enter my Matachines pieces at Spanish Market. She studied the history of Los Matachines in Spain and Portugal. Notably, there are accounts of Matachines existing in the Americas prior to the arrival of Cortéz, who added la Malinche to portray the presence of innocence and Christianity. We credit the Moorish tradition for the dress attire that they use.”

“I try to vary the different colors in my paintings of Matachines dancers at Feast Days and Saints' Days. In my Matachines paintings, I enjoy all the different dress attire and am diligent about applying the correct traditional portrayals.”

Los Matachines

This village and pueblo dance pageant/drama known as Matachines, has varying interpretations, styles and detail. Accompanied by guitar and violin, or ceremonial drum and gourd rattles, their melodies expand from procession to choreographed formations resembling dance and symbolic and rhythmic gestures of reverence. The varying number of dancers are accompanied by a monarca, an abuelo or two, a young princess and a toro. The dancers are crowned and draped with the bright silk and satin ribbons, beads and scarves representing a spectrum of colors.

Matachines de Ranchos de Taos