An occasional look at some of the people and events that make Albuquerque a truly different city.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Blessing of the Acequia

Atrisco Acequia

As they have for the past 60 years or so, on May 15th, the community of Atrisco gathered in Albuquerque' South Valley (the Atrisco Land Grant) for its annual blessing of the irrigation water and farm fields, honoring San Isidro the patron saint of farmers, and his wife Santa Maria de la Cabeza.  They gathered behind the Holy Family Catholic church on the warm evening with the ancient cottonwood trees along the acequia (a traditional irrigation ditch) providing the suitable setting.

San Isidro and Santa Maria de la Cabeza Santos

Listening to the opening prayer

Twelve years ago the organizers of the celebration added promotoras tradicionales (traditional healers) to the gathering to celebrate Santa Maria de la Cabeza who is honored for her healing abilities.
Kalpulli Izkalli Promotoras Tradicionales preparing incense.
Promotoras preparing the rose petals that will be sprinkled in the acequia.

Procession behind crucifix carved from cottonwood.

Matachinas, traditional Christian dancers who's history can be traced back to the expulsion of the Moors from Spain in the late 15th century, were also part of the blessing ceremony.

Members of the matachines "Grupo de Danza - Holy Ghost"
Matachines dancing
The gathering grew in size as it neared the acequia.
The deacon blessed the acequia's water.

Rose petals float in the acequia as the procession continues.

The gathering stopped at an ancient cottonwood tree to sing an alabado.

Promotora Tradicionale


Drought-plagued Albuquerque enjoyed its first rain in 3 months the following week. 
 - o -
 Special thanks to Lita Pino, the organizer of the Blessing, for her kind assistence.