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World Heritage winners

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The Papantla Flyer ceremony and the Rock of Bernal are among the newest additions to the UNESCO World Heritage list. In the ceremony, flyers, four of them, leap from poles often more than 100 feet high while a colleague squats on a tiny pole-top platform playing a flute and pounding a drum. The flyers have ropes tied to their ankles, allowing them to whirl slowly toward earth, circling the pole 13 times. What began is a religious rite is now performed as entertainment at fairs and fiestas throughout the country.
The Bernal Rock soars up 2,000 meters above a village some 120 kilometers north of Mexico City and has been compared to Ayers Rock in Australia. New Age types credit it with special energy and it did star several years ago in the film “Close Encounters of a Third Kind.”

By Jimm Budd

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Copyright © 2002 Mary J. Andrade

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