An annual Lenten season tradition in Nogales and other places in Sonora is the appearance of these traditional Yaqui and Mayo dancers from San Blas and Choix, Sinaloa.
Known as Fariseos (Pharisees), or Chapayekas, these religious pilgrims walk and dance to the beat of a goatskin drum and their hand-held rattles dressed in traditional leggings, belts fashioned from shotgun shells and wearing traditional masks known as sewas, that are fashioned from animal hides.
The Pharisees persecuted Jesus, and these devout Christians don the costumes to dramatize the evil that ultimately leads to the resurrection of Jesus on Easter, or La Pascua.
This dedication is a serious endeavor for the Fariseos, who cannot talk while in costume as they tirelessly walk the streets and public places to solicit donations for their parish churches.They are not allowed to speak, they eat very little and only in private, and they generally live in very austere conditions while they are fariseos..
If you are in the border area of Nogales, Sonora in the weeks before Easter, you will most likely see these dancers that are a colorful reminder of spring in the Nogales border tourism area.