Tzotzil Maya: bride and groom

I was lucky to see this wedding in the village of Zinacantán (in March 2019). Normally it is difficult to take photos of the Tzotzil Maya but on this occasion they allowed it. The groom even gave me a little smile. A lengthy courtship proceeded this wedding, during which gifts were presented to the girl's family. On the wedding day, the couple goes through a triple ritual process of registering at the town hall, then having a Catholic priest marry them in the church, and finally attending an elaborate Tzotzil ceremony at the house of the groom. They also had a little celebration just outside the church, for us all to see, drinking pox [posh], a ceremonial Maya liquor made of corn, sugar cane and wheat. Interestingly, she had artificial flowers in her hand, while the village of Zinacantán is famous for growing flowers for the whole of Mexico City. One can see the greenhouses spread across the valley, when approaching the village.

This is a very special village, as since 2001 they have autonomy granted by the Mexican constitution within the framework of a united nation (like their neighbours, Chamulá, to whom they don’t traditionally speak through some historical intolerance). It means both towns have their own government and their own police force. Interestingly, the jails are open so the public can see the offenders and they have to do public service and may be even expelled from the village. The crime rate is therefore very low.

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The wedding in Zinacantán. February 2019.

The wedding in Zinacantán. February 2019.

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