Pukes, Tigres, masks, animal masks, dance, tradition, ritual, Purepecha, Michoacan, Mexico, Virgen del Rosario, Florence Leyret, deer masks
Pukes, Tigres, masks, animal masks, dance, tradition, ritual, Purepecha, Michoacan, Mexico, Virgen del Rosario, Florence Leyret, deer masks
Pukes, Tigres, masks, animal masks, dance, tradition, ritual, Purepecha, Michoacan, Mexico, Virgen del Rosario, Florence Leyret, deer masks
Pukes, Tigres, masks, animal masks, dance, tradition, ritual, Purepecha, Michoacan, Mexico, Virgen del Rosario, Florence Leyret, deer masks
Pukes, Tigres, masks, animal masks, dance, tradition, ritual, Purepecha, Michoacan, Mexico, Virgen del Rosario, Florence Leyret, deer masks
Pukes, Tigres, masks, animal masks, dance, tradition, ritual, Purepecha, Michoacan, Mexico, Virgen del Rosario, Florence Leyret, deer masks

The dance of the Pukes is a quasi-pugilistic dance where most of the participants wear antlered deer masks, sometimes adding horse’s hair for beards. It takes place in Naranja de Tapia, Michoacan, when the village celebrates “La Virgen del Rosario”. (Other versions of the same dance exist in the surrounding villages).

  • Three major “characters" play a role in the ceremony; the Monarchs, the Pukes, the Negro.

The allegory of this danced ritual may be better understood through history. The Pukes represent the indigenous people of Michoacan. The Negro represents the African slaves used to maintain order by the owners of the haciendas during the sixteenth century. The Monarchs represent the power, the Spanish Conquerors.

The Dance of the Pukes allows the inhabitants of the village to repeat the experiences of their ancestors and with it, to reinforce their own identity. 

Although there may be an impression of cheerful disorder and chaos, the Pukes follow the different rythm of the music given by the band, and if there are sometimes an overflow of energy, it is immediately regulated by the cargueros ("the ones in charge of the good progress of the dance").

Pukes, Tigres, masks, animal masks, dance, tradition, ritual, Purepecha, Michoacan, Mexico, Virgen del Rosario, Florence Leyret, deer masks
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