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City Living - July 11, 2015

July the Fourth parties were held in several locations last weekend.

Pastor Jim Priddy shows winning form in the watermelon-seed-spitting contest at the July 4 picnic at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Guadalajara. Priddy, who honed his sptting skills in past years, became the “watermelon seed spitting champion of western Mexico,” as he puts it, in 2013, but was ousted from his position in 2014 by seminarian and St. Mark’s parishioner Trino Palomera. This year, however, Priddy regained the crown by defeating Palomera, who presented him with the trophy on June 5 at the 10:30 Mass at St. Mark’s.

Mark Seibel, consular section chief at the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara, reads out declarations by First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry at the July 4 picnic at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Guadalajara.

Some 80 revelers enjoy a traditional Fourth of July meal at the American Society of Jalisco (Amsoc) last weekend.  

Masks in Chapalita

Traditional grotesque Tastoan masks are on display in the small Galeria Ajolote in Colonia Chapalita through July 25.  

Later this month the metro-area suburb of Tonala will host the famous “Dance of the Tastoanes,” an annual ritual commemorating an indigenous insurgence during the Spanish invasion of western Mexico.

The centuries-old religious tradition dates back to the arrival of the Spanish in the old kingdom of Tonallan. The Indian queen, Cihualpilli, received the Spanish troops with open arms and willingly converted to Catholicism.

But a group of Indians less enamored with the European invaders and their religion banded together and rebelled, putting up a heroic fight on Tonala’s Cerro de la Reina hill. As legend has it, when their rebellion was put down they were turned into grotesque monsters known as “Tastoanes.”

Galeria Ajolote is located at Avenida Guadalupe 1688-A, near the Niño Obrero intersection. Open Monday to Friday, 4-8 p.m. No charge.