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As a part of the celebrations for Noche de los Rabanos, there was also a performance of the Guelaguetza, the dance tradition that displays the various dances and elaborate dress of the eight regions of Oaxaca. I happened to be walking by as they were getting ready, and the man holding the green star in the photos introduced me to various performers and people putting together the display. He had two children pose for me and even took me by the tent where the ladies were putting on makeup and getting ready for the show. I was only allowed outside of the men’s tent where they were busily changing. One shirtless man burst out as I was taking photos. I think he did it on a dare, but I was not fast enough to get a photo.

Most of the people participating in this traditional event were very young and as serious about maintaining these traditions as my informal guide was. I was grateful for my impromptu backstage pass as he pointed to various artifacts of the celebration, naming them and/or what they represent for me.

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