CultureFolklore

Pinhole: The 24 Devils

1870
0

Fewer traditions are more eclectic than the the convite of Ciudad Vieja, Sacatepéquez. The celebrations, which are held annually on December 7, feature a parade with several elaborate dances. Its main event is the Dance of the 24 Devils, a syncretic tradition.

For this dance, 13 actors dress as red demons with blonde wigs. Each one of them represents one of the sins which “plagues” the Earth, such as gluttony or lust. Another group of 13 actors dress up as monkeys, which represent Angels who fight off the demons, and the last lone actor of the group of 24 represents Death itself.

The demons dance through the crowd, enticing and “tempting” spectators to come sin with them through an erratic dance, while the monkeys chase them away. This is supposed to represent the fight between angels and demons over the fate of mankind. Towards the end of the dance, each of the characters offers some sort of speech, ending with the Big Devil. After declaring that he’s been beaten by all the good in the world, he finishes he speech with an open invitation for people to follow him to hell.

A demon mask and a monkey mask on a chair in one of the trailer charriots of Ciudad Vieja. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

 

Demon dancers in Ciudad Vieja during the Convite of the 24 devils. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

 

A girl eats ice-cream as the rest of the group prepares for the convite of 24 devils. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

 

The inside of a mask during the convite of 24 devils in Ciudad Vieja. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

 

Janeth Gonzales, 15, and Santos Gonzales, 14, dressed as Angels during the dances of the Convite of Ciudad Vieja. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

 

 

Juan José dressed as a deer during the convite of the 24 devils in Ciudad Vieja. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

 

Female demons on their motorcycle in Ciudad Vieja. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

 

Dancers ride horses during the town fair of Ciudad Vieja. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

 

Dancers on horseback with shattered mirrors as decoration over their masks. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

 

Women dressed as demons during the convite of the 24 devils. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

 

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on Tumblr

Comments

Tagged:
Women at the shores of lake Chicabal, on the dormant volcano of Chicabal, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite
Culture
The Other Flag
A flag or two flags, Guatemalans find themselves waving both the Stars and Stripes [...]
ataudes-9
Arts and Crafts
Business from the Grave
Riders calm their horses once they arrive at the end of the track. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite
CultureFeatureFolklore
The Drunken Horse Race
Optional-Banner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *