ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The cacophony of flutes and drums hypnotizes as the Cora people do battle dotted and striped in the black and white of Holy Week. The spice of incense smokes the church while the women dress the altar in palm fronds and yucca leaves.
Santa Fe’s William Frej photographed this isolated Mexican indigenous tribe in Santa Teresa del Nayarit, a remote Cora village in the rugged Sierra del Nayar. To get there, he traveled nine hours on a dirt road from Tepic and 12 hours from Guadalajara in west-central Mexico.
Frej’s black-and-white frames capture a four-day ceremony. Its roots weave Christian iconography with rituals predating the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Thirty of Frej’s prints will hang in Santa Fe’s Peyton Wright Gallery through Aug. 31.