Photo of the Week: El Caporal, leader of Los Voladores de Papantla

El Caporal, photo courtesy Viva Mexico at El Rancho de las Golandrinas


Los Voladores de Papantla (The Flying Men of Papantla), from Vera Cruz Mexico, perform, La Danza de los Voladores,  a fertility ceremony that was ancient before the Spanish arrived. They were at ¡Viva Mexico! at El Rancho de las Golondrinas, in 2010 and 2011. Attendees watched these amazing men as they they climbed a 60 foot tall pole, attached a rope to their legs, performed a ritual at the top of the pole and then flung themselves into the “void”,  rope unraveling until they reaced the ground. El Caporal,  the leader of the ritual, stands on a tiny platform at the top of the pole playing his flute and dancing. It’s amazing to watch him perform, fearlessly, atop this pole (in any weather, including wind).  In this photo he’s performing a purification ritual for the success of the  ceremony.

¡Viva Mexico! takes place at Rancho de los Golondrinas each July.

5 Responses to “Photo of the Week: El Caporal, leader of Los Voladores de Papantla”

  1. karen
    July 9, 2011 at 4:46 am #

    Bravo, Los Voladores! And bravo, El Rancho de las Golondrinas for bringing them to Santa Fe!

    • Billie Frank
      July 9, 2011 at 8:39 am #

      If you haven’t seen them, come out Saturday or Sunday. It’s an amazing experience. This is a big event for Golondrinas and Mexico. The Mexican Government supports this event, which is exciting. They are taking an active role in promoting it. Their new Counsel from the Albuquerque Consulate and some of his staff were at the press conference held last week and they will be at the event. It could not have been done without their support and their are other sponsors, too. This is truly and international festival in scope and execution.

  2. Nomadic Samuel
    July 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    This is a memorable photo. The man has a lot of character & I find the bokeh of this photo very appealing 🙂

    • Steve Collins
      July 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

      Thanks for the comment. I was impressed by the expression of devotion of El Caporal and the character of his face.

  3. TravelDesigned
    June 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    A STUNNING photo!
    TravelDesigned recently posted..FREE things in Puerto Vallarta: Sculptures on the MaleconMy Profile

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