A Mexican mayor wedded an alligator dressed in a bridal gown and sealed their marriage with a kiss.
Mayor Victor Hugo Sosa of San Pedro Huamelula married an alligator as part of an age-old indigenous custom to bring abundance to the community in southern Mexico.
The seven-year-old lizard known as Little Princess is said to be a divinity symbolizing Mother Earth, and her marriage to the local chieftain represents the union of humans and the divine. Traditional music broke out as revelers danced while begging the indigenous chief to kiss his new bride in a colorful ritual.
As the mayor carried the alligator bride in his arms through the streets, trumpets blared and drums created a joyous beat, while men fanned it with their caps. ‘It brings me so much delight and makes me proud of my heritage,’ said Elia Edith Aguilar, the godmother who organized the wedding.
‘It’s a very lovely ritual.’
She noted that being entrusted with carrying out the ceremony was an honor and that she spent a lot of time worrying about what the bride would wear. The mayor kissed the little alligator’s nose many times throughout the ceremony to discourage undesired bite.
The ritual marriage most likely dates back centuries to pre-Hispanic times among the indigenous Chontal and Huave populations of Oaxaca state.
It’s akin to a communal prayer praying for nature’s abundance.
Mayor Sosa stated, ‘We pray to nature for adequate rain, food, and fish in the river.’ Oaxaca, in Mexico’s underdeveloped south, is perhaps the country’s richest in indigenous culture, with numerous communities fiercely preserving their languages and traditions.
San Pedro Huamelula is a tiny fishing town on the Pacific coast of Oaxaca.
The age-old ritual in San Pedro Huamelula, now mixed with Catholic spirituality, involves dressing the alligator or caiman in a white wedding dress plus other colorful garments.