The Blessing of the Goats


“La danza de la cabrita, antes de la matanza (The Little Goat’s Dance, Before the Slaughter), La Mixteca,” 1992. Photo from the website of the Guggenheim Museum. 

Graciela Iturbide, Mexican born 1942.



Graciela Iturbide documented a part of the life of Mixtec Indians in the northern part of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico.


She witnessed the annual slaughter of goats (commercial).


One is spared; crowned with flowers, laid on a boy’s shoulder.


He leads the rite which precedes the slaughter of the goats by dancing with that goat on his shoulders.


A ritual of thanks and blessing practiced, without doubt, in many cultures, before the commodification of every known thing.