ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Burning Man? Burning Zozobra!

Updated on February 10, 2010

The Scapegoat Alight in Santa Fe

Most everyone has heard of the infamous Burning Man gathering, the celebration that takes place annually in the Black  There, many antics of imagination and creation (not to mention the lovelier side of hedonism!) take place for one week to the benefit of both the participants and the arts community.  Yet have you heard of a far older burning of an effigy in the United States -that of Zozobra?

Zozobra is a 49-foot tall marionette that is burnt every September in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  It is made of wood, wire, muslin, and other matierials that allow Zozobra to flail his arms, move his head, and chomp his toothless mouth in fright as he burns, burns, burns to the ground.  He even growls loudly prior to being set ablaze!  Held since 1924 by artist Will Schuster, the ceremony is a large part of an older festival, Fiesta, held in Santa Fe since 1712, making it the oldest civic event in the United States.

In 1963 the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe officially became a part of the Zozobra burning, and has proudly coordinated, built, and set fire to the sad fellow, also known as Old Man Gloom, from a Spanish word, ever since.  At present there are generally around 30,000 people who witness the event, which kicks off Fiesta in that old city. By his annual sacrifice, Zozobra has raised over $ 300,000 since the early 1950's.  This money has gone towards aiding youth projects, funding scholarships, and in paying for camps for children with physical disabilities.


The burning of effigies of human beings goes back millinea, as witnessed in Sir James Frazer's inimitable work "The Golden Bough" and hinted at in more modern tales, such as Tom Robbins' "Jitterbug Perfume" with its discussion of the sacrifice (albeit not burning) of the Bohemian Bean King.  Initially meant to offer the gods a scapegoat for the sins and follies of a community, the burning of effigies has held a spiritual and even secular value to humans into the 21st century.  Yet in the case of Zozobra, unwanted items such as divorce decrees, police reports, and mortgage contracts that have been paid in full, also burn up.  Long live Zozobra -may he burn on.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)