The celebration of a patron saint, thousands of miles away from the hometown he’s venerated in, drew hundreds of people to a lot in northwestern Madera. The Fiesta de San Martin Caballero included food, music, performances and religious traditions on Saturday.
Crowded with candles and flowers, a bamboo-stick-made structure housed the image of San Martin Caballero (St. Martin of Tours, France) — a 4th century cavalry officer of the Roman Empire — ripping his cloak in two to clothe a semi-nude, poor man looking up at him. Many who attended were natives of San Martín Itunyoso, a small town of about 1,500 people in Oaxaca. Though there were others who shared similar traditions in various parts of the Mexican state and the country.
Itunyoso inhabitants are of Triqui descent, a native peoples of the western part of the state who speak the Triqui language and whose handicrafts, such as woven clothing and baskets, are unique among the various Oaxacan ethnic groups.
“All our elders are back home and the younger people have come here. About half of the town’s natives are now away from home,” said Mario Hernandez, who organized the event, along with 10 others...