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.