Monday, 11 July 2016

Diego Huerta | Inside Oaxaca

Photo Diego Huerta-All Rights Reserved
“It is surprising that we have more than 57 native cultures in Mexico and we don’t know at least half of them. The information is nearly nonexistent.”- Diego Huerta
Diego Huerta discovered the depth of his country's dazzling cultural traditions and the myriad of its indigenous communities when traveling to Oaxaca, and attending the Guelaguetza, its biggest annual celebration and parade that features traditional dances and customs from the States’ eight regions.

Photographing this event launched Diego's Inside Oaxaca project in which he photographed carefully thought out portraits individuals of four of the eight regions that exist in Oaxaca. This project also led to a larger photo project called Native Nation, which consists of documenting Mexico’s more than 50 indigenous groups.

I attended a number of Guelaguetza dance performances (not the annual event which is held in the second half of every July), and when performed by experienced dancers, the choreography and costumes are extraordinary. That said, the Guelaguetza annual event is based on a celebration dating to much before the arrival of the Spanish, and remains a defining characteristic of Oaxacan culture.
Its origins and traditions come from pre-Hispanic earth-based religious celebrations related to the worship of corn and the corn god.

Diego Huerta was born and raised in Mexico, and currently resides in Austin, Texas where he bases my photography business.  I found two excellent articles on his craft on the Huffington Post here and here.