Mojigangas for sale and rent
for all kind of events
WE ARE THE MOJIGANGAS OF SAN MIGUEL... WE ARE GIANT PUPPETS FOR RENT OR SALE!
What is a mojiganga?
A mojiganga (pronounced: mo-he-gang-ga) is a giant puppet also used as sculpture or a grand scale design element for a large event. The head and bust are made of papier mâché which is then mounted on a tall supporting A-frame structure. Our mojigangas range from approximately 6 to 18 feet tall (2-6 meters). The puppeteer is able to see out through an opening in the costuming at his/her eye level. The dancer/puppeteer climbs under the structure and then places a shoulder harness on to support the weight of the head/bust. The feet of the dancer become the feet of the Mojiganga. These puppets can be animated by the puppeteer through movement or can be free standing as larger-than-life decor or props.
The word "mojiganga" carries with it the meaning of "burlesque"... these giants, created by Hermes and Cindi, are farcical and expansive exaggerations of humanity. The artists also create portraiture and realistic style puppets in their body of work. Animal mojigangas are also a part of their body of work.
What is the origin of The Mojiganga?
The Mojigangas of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, trace their origin to the tradition of The Giants (Los Gigantes) of Spain. The Spaniards brought this tradition to Mexico and other parts of Latin America. The tradition took hold in some places and not others. San Miguel de Allende and Oaxaca are two locations where the tradition rooted and evolved to a different, more locally interpreted folk art form. The original Giant style was more apt to depict aristocratic figures that are symmetrical and more doll-like in appearance. In Latin America this tradition morphed into the more relaxed & burlesque art form seen in Las Mojigangas de San Miguel... A merging, at times, of the Sacred with the Profane. Spain continues with a strong tradition of The Giants in both their secular and religious culture. One example is their role in The Parade of the Giants during La Pamplonada.
Hermes Arroyo and Cindi Olsman, continue to observe the current tradition of the mojigangas of San Miguel. As artists and artisans they are dedicated to evolving the deep cultural, psychological and artistic impact these giants have in the world of interactive performance art and colossal public imagery. They are also dedicated to the evolution of this art form and experimenting with its colossal joyful impact on the public psyche.
What importance do the Mojigangas have in San Miguel and other regions?
Mojigangas have become iconic in San Miguel de Allende life. They appear in a variety both secular and religious festivals, special birthdays, anniversaries, Day of the Dead and many wedding celebrations. These giants have also been commissioned for fashion photo shoots (Vogue, Australia) and are soon to be seen in a documentary short being edited by the talented Mexican director, Julio Carlos Zapata. They have been commissioned for art installations as effigies (a related genre), and then detonated as a self-annihilating expression of the ephemeral nature of life and art. (The inauguration of the chapel of Jimmy Ray/and of the photographer, Spencer Tunick).
It is a moment of wonder and delight to witness a bride and groom mojiganga strolling the cobblestones of San Miguel de Allende, majestically looming above the wedding party and guests as they are greeted post ceremony and then lead through the streets in parade (a "Callejoneada") to the reception site... often accompanied by Mariachis, a decorated burro, tequila, silk necklace shot glasses and noisemakers.
The spontaneous photo opportunities with the puppets are loved by all, creating joyful fun and spectacular, indelible memories.
The artists, Hermes Arroyo and Cindi Olsman have invited many visitors to their workshop in San Miguel de Allende to witness their behind the scenes art studio. Occasionally they will hold tutorials and workshops in papier mâché and mask masking in their studio.
For these interested in the mojiganga as an art form, it is important to emphasize that the mojiganga is not a random artistic expression, but rather belongs to the universal phenomenon of "The Giant", rooted in the human psyche throughout time and across cultures. This concept has numerous examples existing in legends and stories throughout recorded memory... the artists are acutely aware that the Giants they create are archetypes (in the Jungian sense), that exist in the human imagination and collective consciousness. Certainly the biblical account of David and Goliath is one example, as is the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk and the Golem of Prague. The giant exists as a dichotomy: a larger than life Being who either protects or menaces us. Thus, the actual physical appearance of a mojiganga (giant) is evocative of a range of underlying emotions... They are intended to be master Provocateurs of Wonder... and to evoke a wide range of emotions. The love appearance of a mojiganga invites the spectator to interact within the storybook legend.
The tradition of the Mojigangas belongs squarely within the universal phenomenon of The Giants being documented through C.I.A.G. (Círculo Internacional de los Amigos de los Gigantes) INTERNATIONAL CIRCLE OF FRIENDS OF THE GIANTS, located in Barcelona, Spain. This scholarly and passionate organization has documented the existence, in one form or another, of giant pageantry/ceremonial figures in over 110 countries.
WHY RENT OR BUY A MOJIGANGA?
Because there is nothing to compare with the sense of Joy, Fear , Wonder and Storybook delight upon seeing these giants come to life at an event. Our studio will rent or sell mojigangas for all occasions and with enough advance notice, customize the head/busts to the thematic look and feel of the event. Most clients will rent mojigangas for a short term event of a day or 2.
The decision to purchase a Mojiganga is something to discuss with Cindi Olsman and Hermes Arroyo. Factors such as round trip shipping costs are a consideration. Owning a Mojiganga, of course, allows its owner the flexibility to display this art form as part of their collection or business setting. Purchasing a Mojiganga also allows an owner the ability to rent, donate and use this captivating art form for numerous future occasions. Each of our creations comes with a Certificate of Authentcity, signed and numbered.
Recently, our studio produced a street parade for Red Wagon Entertainment commissioned by Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick, Executive Producers of The Great Gatsby, Gladiator, Divergent, and Stuart Little among other blockbuster movies. They loved the customized production of The Knight of The Flaming Wick. Additionally, Hermes and Cindi produced an additonal puppet for another famous guest at the party, Lisa Eisner (designer/ artist/ photographer) in honor of her birthday as well. Visit our gallery for images.
Finally, our studio takes great pleasure in lending the mojigangas to many charitable organizations and communites in both the San Miguel de Allende and the Philadelphia area. Hermes and Cindi are mutually proud of the fusion they have created in having the puppet in both places over the last 10 years.
COPY RIGHT MOJIGANGAS DE SAN MIGUEL / HERMES ARROYO / CINDI OLSMAN 2014
Web design in San Miguel de Allende, Logo and graphic design: www.julioedgarmendez.com