A grand total of 260 costumed dancers gathered on Sunday at the Teotihuacán archaeological zone to establish a new record record for the Largest ancient Mexican ceremonial dance.
Located just 78 kilometres outside of Mexico City, Teotihuacán was one of the most important pre-Hispanic cities in Mesoamerica. Today its well-preserved pyramids and murals capture the fascination of tourists from all over the world.
The dancers assembled near the pyramids wearing colourful costumes and feathered headdresses and carrying traditional musical instruments such as the huehuetl, teponaztili, ocarina, and atecocolli.
After preparing their costumes and instruments, the dancers formed large circles surrounding an altar. Children and adults danced to the rhythm of the drums, rattles, and bells, shouting “ometeotl” to honour the Aztec god of duality. While the guidelines dictate that the dance must last a minimum of five minutes, some of the participants continued dancing for hours after the attempt had finished.
Representatives of UNESCO were among the 21 expert witnesses invited to the event to verify that the dance was executed in a traditional manner. Official Guinness World Records adjudicators Carlos Tapia and Carlos Martinez were also there to verify the attempt and present an official certificate to representatives of the local municipal government and the Secretary of Tourism of the State of Mexico.
According to the official guidelines, the participants had to wear traditional Aztec dress and follow traditional choreography to an adequate standard. 20 participants were disqualified and not counted toward the final total for not following the guidelines.
In addition to representatives of the city government of San Juan de Teotihuacan, led by Mr. Arturo Cantu Nieves, Major of Teotihuacan, the Turkish ambassador to Mexico, Mustafa Oguz Demiralp was also in attendance to take in this record-breaking show.
While this was the first time this record has been set, Mexico holds several records for large dances such as the Largest Mexican folk dance, with 457 participants and the Largest Thriller dance with an incredible 13,597 participants!