A tradition that goes from generation to generation

The dance of the shepherdesses in Amealco de Bonfil

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Learn about the dance of the Otomi shepherdesses, their importance and the great popular festival around faith.

All the people arrive, carrying liters and liters of mole, tortillas, pieces of chicken, beer, soft drinks, flavored water, snow. In the background the mass is heard, the parishioners gather. It is the community of San Ildefonso and it is an important day: the feast of its patron saint.

The offerings shine everywhere, the mass and the procession revive faith, while expectantly, the residents pay respect to the celebration of San Ildefonso. It is January 24 and despite the sun, the weather is cool. After the procession comes the dance with its beats.

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There are 16 sounds that the musicians perform and the drum is the one that carries the order. Only women participate in the largest dance, there are about 20 women, although there is a small group of five men, in a corner of the esplanade of the main temple. However, girls, adults, old women, of all ages, the dance belongs to women and they carry the rhythm, the joy, the faith and the interest of the spectators.

They proudly wear a typical costume made by themselves. The hat is colorful, it does not go unnoticed, it is so ornamental and colorful, with those bows, those flowers and those ribbons that fall like a waterfall all over her dress. In hand is the cane with bells, they symbolize the shepherdesses and it also looks attractive.

Then it's time to eat. The food is happily offered and then those buckets full of mole are opened, the people - plate in hand - pounce on the bearers who offer offerings to their brothers, from other towns, from neighboring towns, from distant towns. And the party continues, with the festival and the mechanical games where the children are happy and shout and sing. And there, in San Ildefonso, an Otomi tradition that gladdens the hearts of the people is preserved and preserved.


Plaza Principal de San Ildefonso

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