Children’s Game #13: Piñata

Oaxaca, Mexico, 2012; 8:17 min
In collaboration with Julien Devaux, Elena Pardo, and Félix Blume


A piñata is a papier-mâché figure stuffed with sweets. Common at birthdays in urban patios, here we find it in a field, where a garish Superman dangles between tall poles on a rope jerked by an adult, to make hitting harder. Each player is blindfolded and spun around several times before attempting to hit the piñata with a long stick. The kids’ wild swinging is directed by the shouts of friends, while the allotted time of each turn is counted down in a singsong about finding and losing one’s way. Fierce blows are dealt with varying accuracy until the piñata is fully smashed open and its sweets shower to the ground, leaped on by all the kids at once. The hollow, punctured figure is triumphantly dismembered.

Lorna Scott Fox

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