Thor Morales

Photographer
Flor de Cucharilla
Public Story
Flor de Cucharilla
Copyright Thor Morales 2022
Updated Nov 2022
Topics Spotlight
Every year around May and June, men from Xico, a small town in the mountains of central Veracruz, make an altitudinal pilgrimage to "hunt" for the Cucharilla flower. They travel in trucks to the highlands of Veracruz, a desert-alpine landscape around 2500m above sea level. There they find the precious flower, which is not really a flower but serves them to create beautiful artwork that will adorn the trucks and the churches of the town, especially the church devoted to Maria Magdalena, the saint that protects Xico. Only men can participate in this syncretic ritual that involves praying, asking for permission from the el señor del monte, and drinking locally distilled and fermented spirits. If women were to join them, they say,  the flower would be stained red and thus become useless for the beautiful arcos or arches that would embellish the temples. This traditional collective and communal experience has been going on for at least a hundred years.
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