I was on my way to the Mercado Cerrado of Latacunga when I realized that the parade of the Mama Negra had begun and I looked for a place to observe the parade, I had spent the whole day without eating but my desire to witness this parade was more.
This celebration of la mama Negra is a mixture of indigenous, Spanish, and African cultures. To observe this festival that takes place only in the city of Latacunga is to fill the mind and heart of the cultural expressions of a people towards the Virgen de la Merced to which they pay homage for their favors received.
The central figure of the party is precisely La Mama Negra, always personified by a man who dyes his face black and his fleshy lips an intense crimson red, from his head comes along and curly hair adorned with colored ribbons and Artificial pearls, from the pinna of the ears each light gold earrings and on his neck beautiful and fine chokers hang.
The Black Mama represents a matriarch slave of a crowd of black slaves freed from the gold mines near the city and who rides on a beautiful dark steed, she takes with her three children: two black children on the rump of her horse, as a symbol of her fertility and the youngest in her arms.
The Virgen de la Merced is called the patron saint of the volcano. The celebration of la Mama Negra is performed twice a year, the first that takes place on September 24, which is performed by all its devotees.
The second party is held the first week of November at the Independence of Latacunga, in which the characters are chosen for their popularity and the work that they have done in the city.
Among the characters that exist are the Huacos who are the so-called sorcerers who perform the cleansing of people with rue, drink, and cigar. They are the ones found at the beginning of each comparsa. This ritual has a value of $ 1.
The angel of the star represents San Gabriel Arcángel that is mounted on a horse dressed in white.
The Moorish King adorns the procession, the standard-bearer who looks like a soldier with a checkered flag, the captain who goes with a sword in hand and is well uniformed.
The ashanguero, who is represented by the strongest, carries a basket of food on the back, a pig, guinea pigs, liquors that are going to be distributed at the end of the party.
I was surprised that there were children carrying their baskets in a demonstration of faith towards the Virgen de la Merced.
There was a character who was reciting couplets to people once he finished his couplets, he gave to the people a liquor prepared with fruit, so I had to try it and it had a very good flavor.
I did not know how long time the parade was going to last and when I asked about this, people told me that everything depends on the number of comparsas that show up, the faith of the people is great Latacunga showed it to me.