Museo Nacional de Antropología (3)

Source: WTL© digital photograph taken on site near the MNA.
Comments: Just outside the MNA you will see this major Mexican cultural attraction called los voladores. This is an ancient Nahua (Aztec/Mexica) tradition that is more than seven centuries old. Five men in Aztec costumes climb to the top of this 30 m (100 ft) pole. One of the five stays sitting on a small platform at the top playing a drum and a reed pipe. Meanwhile, the other four carefully wrap ropes around their legs. By whole turns around the pole, one by one they drop (fly; volador = flyer) upside down and lower themselves while circling the pole. Each volador makes 13 revolutions before reaching the ground. The total number of turns, therefore, is 52 (4 x 13). The pole symbolizes the Aztec cosmological link between the heavens above the Earth and the underworld below the Earth. The number 52 corresponds to the 52 years of the Aztec sun cycle, and 13 represents the number of months in the 260-day Aztec calendar year (13 months of 20 days each). (Due to the tree above I couldn't get a photo from where I was standing showing all five voladores.)