2016 Mexico City La Danze Macabra Workshop
with Michael deMeng October 21 to November 3, 2016
Sunday, October 30, 2016
The class ofrenda
My contribution to remember my Dad
Michael deMeng in mask
Today we are off to a special place: the floating gardens of Xochimilco; part of the Aztec system of chinampas for growing food and flowers for the ancient city of Tenochtitlan. Now it serves as a place for families to party on Sunday with food and music.
In the old days, these boats were covered with flowers. Now they are brightly painted.
Joann gets ahead of herself
Michael forgot his sunscreen
Most of the boats are human-powered.
We left the main part of the canals for a trip to Isla de las Munecas (Island of the Dolls), a favorite creepy place of Michael deMeng's. From Wikipedia: "About an hour long canal ride from an embarcadero, pier, lies Isla de las Muñecas, or the Island of the Dolls. It is the best-known chinampa, or floating garden, in Xochimilco. It belonged to a man named Don Julián Santana Barrera, a native of the La Asunción neighborhood. Santana Barrera was a loner, who was rarely seen in most of Xochimilco. According to the legend, Barrera discovered a little girl drowned in mysterious circumstances in the canals. He also found a doll floating nearby and, assuming it belonged to the deceased girl, hung it from a tree as a sign of respect. After this, he began to hear whispers, footsteps, and anguished wails in the darkness even though his hut—hidden deep inside the woods of Xochimilco—was miles away from civilization. Driven by fear, he spent the next fifty years hanging more and more dolls, some missing body parts, all over the island in an attempt to appease what he believed to be the drowned girl’s spirit. After Barrera’s death in 2001—his body reportedly found in the exact spot where he found the girl’s body fifty years before—the area became a popular tourist attraction where visitors bring more dolls."
The current curator explains the island to us sitting beneath a photograph of
Don Julián Santana Barrera
Photo taken during the drone overview (see below for a link to the drone footage)
Before we left the dock in Xochimilco, we picked up two professional photographers--
with a drone!
Here is a link to the drone photography.
On our way back I got this shot of the dolls on the "fake" island of the dolls that tries to capture tourists before they get to the "real" place.
An interesting couple in a boat that floated past us.
On our way home, we will visit Museo Dolores Olmedo the patron of Diego Rivera.