Mexico mayor marries alligator: traditional ceremony explained as Mayor of San Pedro Huamelula weds reptile

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The ceremony represents the union of the Chontal and Huave indigenous groups

Victor Hugo Sosa, the mayor of San Pedro Huamelula, a small town in Mexico, has married a reptile in a traditional ritual believed to bring good luck to his people. He tied the knot with a female caiman, an alligator-like reptile, which can be found in Mexico and Central and South America.  

Sosa and the caiman, called Alicia Adriana, carried out the traditional ceremony which has been held for the past 230 years. The ritual commemorates the peace between the Chontal and Huave indigenous groups, with the mayor, representing the Chontal king, marrying the reptile, symbolising a Huave princess, in a union of the two communities. 

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Local tradition calls the caiman the “princess girl”, with the mayor saying during the ritual: “I accept responsibility because we love each other. That is what is important. You can’t have a marriage without love… I yield to marriage with the princess girl.”

Sosa was pictured kissing the caiman on the head.

Victor Hugo Sosa, Mayor of San Pedro Huamelula, kisses a caiman before marrying her in San Pedro Huamelula, Oaxaca state, Mexico on June 30, 2023. (Photo by RUSVEL RASGADO/AFP via Getty Images)Victor Hugo Sosa, Mayor of San Pedro Huamelula, kisses a caiman before marrying her in San Pedro Huamelula, Oaxaca state, Mexico on June 30, 2023. (Photo by RUSVEL RASGADO/AFP via Getty Images)
Victor Hugo Sosa, Mayor of San Pedro Huamelula, kisses a caiman before marrying her in San Pedro Huamelula, Oaxaca state, Mexico on June 30, 2023. (Photo by RUSVEL RASGADO/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Prior to the ceremony, the reptile is carried from house to house, with locals able to hold and dance with her. The creature wears a green skirt and a headdress of ribbons and sequins before being changed into a white brides dress for the ceremony. Her jaw is tied shut to prevent any potential injuries. 

After Sosa and the caiman married, the mayor and the “princess girl” danced to traditional music. 

Speaking to AFP news agency, Sosa said: “We are happy because we celebrate the union of two cultures. People are content.” 

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Elia Edith Aguilar, who is known as the godmother who organises the event, said that the ceremony gives her “so much happiness”. 

She added: “It makes me proud of my roots. It’s a very beautiful tradition.” 

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