This is an ancient ceremony that started before Hispanic colonies in Mexico. There is not an exact date on the beginning of this ritual but is well-known that when the colonies arrived to Mexico, the main history writers talked about it as a game; may be because the original customs were made with authentic bird feathers that represented eagles, owls, crows, Quetzales and many other birds.
The real history is of its origin is not well identified but the legend describes the possible motive of this ceremony.
A very long time ago, there was a big drought in the “Totonacapan” area (Veracruz State), this caused a lot of damages in the village and death among the people.
A group of old wise men gathered a group of young men and asked them to find and cut the most straight, tallest and strongest tree on the nearby mountain. To be utilized on a ritual with music and dance so the gods of the weather would see them with “better eyes” and bring the rain back and fertility to that area.
This cult had to be done on the tip of the trunk, so it was easier for the prayers done with faith to reach the gods. It seems like the good results of this celebration made the natives embrace this ritual and decided to do it periodically, usually at the beginning of the spring.
Nowadays this ceremony is done for recreational porpoises only and can be seen in many areas of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta features “Los Voladores de Papantla” every day at the boardwalk for the enjoyment of the visitors.
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