Mexican town mayor marries alligator as an indigenous prosperity ritual

Amelie Ortiz de Leon

Posted at Jul 07 2022 03:22 AM

An alligator floats in the marsh in Venice, Louisiana, May 3, 2010. Paul Buck, EPA/file
An alligator floats in the marsh in Venice, Louisiana, May 3, 2010. Paul Buck, EPA/file

In San Pedro Huamelula town, Mexico, locals blasted festive music and paraded through the streets in celebration of the wedding ceremony between Mayor Victor Hugo Sosa and his bride, a seven-year-old alligator. 

As part of a tradition meant to bring prosperity to the community, the Mexican mayor and his alligator bride – dressed in a white bridal dress – were married on June 30. 

Reuters captured a video of Mayor Sosa planting several kisses on the animal’s snout – which had been tied to prevent biting – at the behest of his wedding guests. Footage was also captured of the mayor dancing with his “wife” in his arms as traditional music and drums blared in the background.  

The alligator, regarded by locals as a “little princess”, is believed to be a deity symbolizing mother nature. The marriage itself symbolizes the union between man and “the divine” in an effort for bountiful harvests. 

To quote Sosa: “We ask nature for enough rain, for enough food, that we have fish in the river.”

Dating back to pre-hispanic times, the ritualistic marriage between alligator and man forms a part of the Chontal and Huave indigenous communities of the Oaxaca state, who have sustained their long-standing traditions.

The wedding’s organizer and “godmother”, Elia Edith Aguilar, emphasized the importance of the alligator bride’s wedding outfits. Aguilar adorned the reptile with a flowery veil and multi-patterned dresses for the wedding ceremony.

“For us as Chontales, this is our most important festivity,” says Aguilar.