Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Washing away evil.

Byline: Daniel J. Chacon Journal Staff Writer

Los Matachines is still a lively tradition in parts of northern New Mexico

ALCALDE A centuries-old tradition that has mostly vanished elsewhere in New Mexico vibrates with life in this village just north of Espanola. On a wooden floor of the Casa Nova Nite Club last week, a father was passing down his ancestors' oral history to a wide-eyed 8-year-old.

"I think we're keeping it alive, that's for sure," said Johnny Sanchez, strapping a bull-hide costume on his 8-year-old son, Jerome, during dance practice. "We'll never let it die."

Each year, the dance hall becomes a place to practice Los Matachines dance drama, performed on Christmas and on feast days of saints, such as San Antonio and the Virgin of Guadalupe, in both Pueblo Indian and Hispanic communities. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.