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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Los Abuelos

This photograph was taken by Shirley Butts of a group of men who participate in the tradition of Los Abuelos.

According to local tradition, December 12th, the Fe ast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Los Abuelos, fur-covered, beast-like mountain spirits, wake up from their caves high in the mountains.

They come down from the mountain cracking their whips and bellowing that the unbelievers shall be punished.

This photograph, taken this year, shows that the old traditions are still alive here in Northern New Mexico. I wish it were practical to post the photograph larger, because the detail of items inthe background are worthy of mention.

My husband, says he thinks he knows where the phot was shot -- a mechanics garage way south of town proper -- before you get to Ranchos. You'll notice the license-plate collection, tacked onto the rafters of the building, along with tool boxes, compressors and all the other items you might find in a car shop.

I'm going to get my friend Jerry Padilla, Spanish editor of El Crepusculo at The Taos News to give me a translation of the article he published, so there's a more complete story to go with this amazing photo.


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