In the presence of cheering spectators who clapped and danced, the mayor of a quaint southern town in Mexico sealed a sacred union with a female reptile, aiming to bestow prosperity upon his community through a traditional ceremony.
Victor Hugo Sosa, the mayor of San Pedro Huamelula, a small town inhabited by Indigenous Chontal people situated in Mexico’s Tehuantepec isthmus, embraced a reptile named Alicia Adriana as his beloved partner, reenacting an age-old ritual.
The reptile in question is a caiman, a species resembling an alligator that dwells in marshy areas and is native to Mexico and Central America.
“I accept responsibility because we love each other. That is what is important. You can’t have a marriage without love… I yield to marriage with the princess girl,” Sosa said during the ritual.
For the past 230 years, a unique custom has taken place in this area, symbolizing the harmonious resolution between two Indigenous groups—an occasion celebrated through the union of a man and a female caiman.
According to tradition, this ritual commemorates the reconciliation between the Chontal people, represented today by the mayor, and the Huave Indigenous group, symbolized by the female alligator. The Huave community resides in the coastal region of Oaxaca, not far from this inland town.
The wedding serves as a means for both sides to establish a connection with the essence of Mother Earth, seeking blessings from the all-powerful entity for rainfall, fertile crops, and all the elements that signify peace and harmony for the Chontal people, as described by Jaime Zarate, the chronicler of San Pedro Huamelula.
Prior to the wedding ceremony, the reptile is paraded through the town, where residents have the opportunity to embrace her and partake in joyful dancing. The alligator is adorned in a vibrant green skirt, a hand-embroidered tunic bursting with colors, and a headdress adorned with ribbons and sequins.
To ensure a trouble-free pre-marital period, the creature’s snout is securely fastened.
Subsequently, she is dressed in a white bridal costume and taken to the town hall for the blessed union.
As part of the ritual, a local fisherman named Joel Vasquez throws his net while expressing the town’s aspirations for a bountiful catch, prosperity, balance, and a peaceful way of life.
Following the ceremony, the mayor shares a dance with his reptilian bride, accompanied by the enchanting melodies of traditional music.
“We are happy because we celebrate the union of two cultures. People are content,” Sosa told AFP.