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Matachine

Matachine

The origins of Los Matachines are obscure. Those who claim a European origin see elements of the Spanish drama Los Moros y Cristianos which celebrates the Spanish victory over the Moors in 1492. Others see Aztec origins in the costumes (cupils, Aztec crowns) and names of the characters: Monarca (Moctezuma) and Malinche (Cortez’s interpreter). The residents of San Lorenzo Pueblo see Los Matachines as a celebration of their role in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. In southern New Mexico, the dancers wear Plains-style war bonnets and the dance captains are called Comanchesinstead of Captianes. In these same communities the Matachines use bows and arrows to overcome the old, erroneous ways and open the door to conversion. So where did this ritual begin?        

 

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