Guendaliza’a in the Istmo of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico.
It is a great folkloric festival that takes place the 23 and 24 of March in the Istmo of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. This region is the narrowest part of Mexico, is located east of the state of Oaxaca. It is one of the most popular regions from Oaxaca well-known for the beauty of its women, their beautiful Tehuana suits, traditions and customs. However, it has been stereotyped as representing a single ethnic group of people who share this rich region of Mexico, but even so, it hasn’t been able to offer foreign viewers all of their traditions throughout the dance, music and traditions of the Zapotecas, much less of the other ethnic groups that also have a rich ancient tradition. Each group has kept up through centuries, the old religious expressions and festivities of the Mesoamerican worldview, and some have already seen it die, burying with it a part of their culture and identity.
“Guendalizaa”, Zapotec word that its divided in two parts: “Guenda: this is the essence of the verb or noun, TO BE.”Liza’a: relationship (as relatives) and putting this two words together they give Guendaliza’a its meaning, Brotherhood. The interest of the GUENDALIZA festival is to gather Zapotecas Huaves, Mixe, Mixtecos, Chontales and Zoques the six ethnic groups of the Istmo of Tehuantepec, and receive guests from other groups in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, and other countries. This traditional festival is an Indian joint that’s known because in the sixteenth century these ancient groups shared the plundering, humiliation and exploitation of Europeans who overthrew their teocallis and plundered their wealth.
It was on March 22, 1660 when this group made justice and appointed their own authorities; this event is known as “The Revolt of Tehuantepec.” To celebrate this historic event they perform dances.
In 1996, they organized the first Guendaliza’a, within the celebrations of the V Centenary of the Battle of Guiengola, to bring ethnic groups in the Istmo of Tehuantepec to celebrate the victory of the Mixteca – Zapoteca alliance defeated the Aztecs in 1496 participating ethnicities like, Chontal, Huave Zapotec northern, central and south of the Istmo.