A little about Playa Zipolite, The Beach of the Dead . . .

Playa Zipolite, Oaxaca, Southern Mexico, on the Pacific Ocean. A little bit about my favorite little get-away on this small world of ours.

Zipolite, a sweaty 30-minute walk west from Puerto Angel, brings you to Playa Zipolite and another world. The feeling here is 1970's - Led Zep, Marley, and scruffy gringos.

A long, long time ago, Zipolite beach was usually visited by the Zapotecans...who made it a magical place. They came to visit Zipolite to meditate, or just to rest.

Recently, this beach has begun to receive day-trippers from Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido, giving it a more TOURISTY feel than before.

Most people come here for the novelty of the nude beach, yoga, turtles, seafood, surf, meditation, vegetarians, discos, party, to get burnt by the sun, or to see how long they can stretch their skinny budget.

I post WWW Oaxaca, Mexico, Zipolite and areas nearby information. Also general budget, backpacker, surfer, off the beaten path, Mexico and beyond, information.

REMEMBER: Everyone is welcome at Zipolite.



Thursday, January 28, 2016

In Citilcum, the dance of the strangled duck Kots Kaal Pato, described as 'a barbaric tradition,' is held annually in Yucatán village Mexico News Daily | Wednesday, January 27, 2016

In Citilcum, the dance of the strangled duck

Kots Kaal Pato, described as 'a barbaric tradition,' is held annually in Yucatán village

The diversity of Mexican culture is one of the country’s many attractions. But there is one little known cultural tradition that many visitors would probably find abhorrent: filling a bag with small animals and bashing them with a stick.
That’s just what the people of the the small town of Citilcum (pronounced Kitilcum), Yucatán, do each year for Kots Kaal Pato, a Mayan name which, roughly translated, means “strangle the duck,” or “dance of the strangled duck.”
The ducks — and their strangling — are the main event.
But first up are the piñatas whose contents, unlike those seen at most Mexican celebrations, do not contain toys and candies. They contain animals.
The town’s children spend a few days catching them. Because different kinds of iguana are the most common in the surrounding area, they are plentiful in the piñatas. Kittens and birds are also fair game, but the most sought-after prize is the opossum, an endemic species of marsupial considered endangered and protected in several countries.
Then, as with any conventional piñata, it is hit repeatedly with sticks until it breaks and falls apart. As one might expect, many of the animals inside do not survive the activity, but those that do are caught, tossed around and trampled to death.
A number of ducks are the principal players in the main event of the Kots Kaal Pato. The birds are tied upside down and hung from a wooden frame where they await the sport of the young men of Citilcum. Their role is to grab a duck by the neck, which they do by jumping up or climbing upon each other to get within grabbing distance of the hapless ducks.
The winner is the one who manages to tear off the head and the prize is the body of the bird, which is taken home and cooked.
No one knows how long the people of Citilcum have been celebrating their traditional Kots Kaal Pato nor can anyone, not even the elders, explain its origins or the reason behind what they consider a celebration.
“We do not know the origin of this tradition. I learned it from my parents and my parents from their parents. Some time ago it was done in a large kapok tree nearby, but in 2002, when Hurricane Isidoro hit Yucatán, the tree fell down, so now it is done in the town’s central square’“ says Idelfonso Tec, born and raised in Citilcum, which is located just 70 kilometers east of the state capital, Mérida, in the municipality of Izamal.
Mayan culture researcher Freddy Poot Sosa was puzzled by the tradition: “I did not know there was a celebration like this; I guess it’s a very local and exclusive celebration of the town of Citilcum.”
Last year, several attempts were made to put a stop to what some have called — not surprisingly — “a barbaric tradition.”
After receiving a citizen’s complaint, the environmental agency Profepa decided last May to file a complaint before the environmental attorney’s office of Yucatán, on the grounds that the activities at the Kots Kaal Pato are contrary to state laws protecting animal life.
An online petition at has also been launched, demanding a stop to “animal sacrifices in Yucatán.” Its creator, Eríka Samara Roldán, said it has had some influence. “The mayor of Izamal has met with the people of Citilcum and they have reached an agreement,” although she couldn’t give any specifics on what was agreed.
As of today, the petition has earned 746,000 signatures.
It is widely felt that cultural traditions should be respected and preserved, but some fall outside the bounds of what would be considered acceptable in today’s world. This might well be one of them.
Source: Vice (en), Excélsior (sp), Diario de Yucatán (sp)

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