PALO de MAYO

( THE MAYPOLE DANCE )

BLUEFIELDS, NICARAGUA

MAY 19-20, 2001

 

 

Text and Photos Copyright ©2001 Mark E. Halliday

 

I kept asking WHEN was the Palo De Mayo?

I received many different answers, but eventually understood that the Palo de Mayo festival would peak on the weekend of May 19-20.

When I arrived back from Pearl Lagoon, I again checked into the Bluefields Bay Hotel.

Outside the hotel a small group of dancers from Barrio Pointeen were rehearsing.

 

 

 

On Saturday I passed another group rehearsing,

this was Barrio Ssnta Rosa, near the airport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Saturday night the Barrio Pointeen crowd had dug a brick out of the street intersection and planted a tree there!

There was a good size crowd around the tree; these two girls were dancing inside a rope barrier.

Notice the decorations on the tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRAIDS

&

BEADS

 

 

 

 

Maypole Queens

 

 

 

Miss Santa Rosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the weekend in Bluefields, I returned to Managua. The next weekend I was leaving Nicaragua and stayed at the Mercedes Best Western hotel near the airport. They had their own Paol de Mayo show, organized by Elisabeth Nelson.

"Miss Lizzie" lives in Bluefields, and brought her dance group over to perform in Managua at the hotel. She commented that the Palo these days was something much faster, sexier than what she learned as a child.

Did I know that the Palo de Mayo came UP the coast from Greytown?

(Greytown = San Juan del Norte, mouth of Rio San Juan)

thus the commercial traffic with Jamaica allowed the custom to transfer to Nicaragua. But now, the music comes DOWN the coast to Nicaragua, from Honduras and Belize!

She felt the Palo de Mayo music was largely influenced by this "Punta" music.

 

 

 

Text and Photos Copyright ©2001 Mark E. Halliday