Cultural heritage conservation by religious tourism: the case of the Mexican Pajareros Pilgrimages

Blanca Roldán-Clarà, Cesar Miguel Maldonado-Alcudia, Elizabeth Olmos-Martínez

Abstract


Pilgrimages are one of the practices of religious tourism, which attract visitors in countries such as Mexico for the influence of Catholicism and syncretism with pre-Hispanic cultures. In the context of this phenomenon, there are pilgrimages with tourism potential that represent an opportunity for economic development. Therefore, the objective of this manuscript was to analyze the pilgrimages of people who inherited a pre-Hispanic profession in Mexico as a potential resource for cultural and religious tourism. The pilgrimages of the families that traditionally dedicate to bird trade, which consists to catch birds in an artisanal way and sell trained song birds. We identified pilgrimages with song birds in San Luis Potosí, State of Mexico, Jalisco, Queretaro, Hidalgo and Mexico City where pajareros carry cages stacked vertically in the back with song birds such as mockingbirds and solitaires to the church to celebrate a mass. Song birds are an offering to give thanks to the Virgin and to God, to rejoice with their songs and to meet up with other pajareros families. The party display a tourist attraction due to its colorful and quantity of song birds that sing at great volume. Unfortunately this tradition is decreasing and fewer pajareros are attending them. This work shows that birds have cultural and religious value and these ceremonies have a tourist potential, which would help this tradition to be strengthened.


Keywords


Song birds, traditional profession, pilgrimages, religious tourism

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