2016 Photo Contest, People, 2nd prize

La Maya Tradition


Daniel Ochoa de Olza

11 May, 2014

The feast of Las Mayas, in Colmenar Viejo, on the outskirts of Madrid, has its origins in pagan ritual. It is held annually at the beginning of May, to celebrate spring. Five or six groups create altars adorned with plants and flowers on the main town square and adjacent streets, and each selects a young girl between the ages of six and 15 to be a ‘Maya’. She must then sit on the altar—very still, silent and serious—wearing a white blouse and skirt, and a Manila shawl.

About the photographer

Daniel Ochoa de Olza

Daniel Ochoa de Olza was born the son of a writer and an art history teacher in Pamplona in October, 1978.  His interest turned from painting to photography in 2001 when he star...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
29.0 mm

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