Fiesta de Santiago Apostól
The Fiesta of St. James the Apostle (La Fiesta de Santiago Apostol) in Loíza Aldea is a 10-day festival held every July east of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. It commemorates the victory of St. James, its patron saint, over the Moors during the Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula.
For locals, and according to the cultural politics of Puerto Rico, the Fiesta of St. James the Apostle (La Fiesta de Santiago Apostol) in Loíza Aldea is a celebration of Afro-Puerto Rican culture (Dávila 1997). The vejigantes are symbols of the strength of African traditions in a place where they have often been marginalized or neglected in cultural politics. They are also a celebration of mestizaje, the mix of American cultural antecedents from Spanish, African, and indigenous roots. Thus, in many ways, Puerto Rican national symbolism is expressed in the faces of the vejigantes, or diablitos, which are emblazoned with the Puerto Rican flag and held up as embodiments of the...