La Sayaca, the band of masked dancers that plays a key role is Ajijic’s rambunctious Carnaval festivities, may derive from the personalities of real people who inhabited the community in the pre-Hispanic era.
According to one version of local oral lore handed down over many generations, the original Sayacos were twins born to the local shaman who were afflicted with a strange syndrome that caused them to salivate profusely.
The term sayaca was possibly coined from the name Axayácatl (he of the water mask), the grandson of Moctezuma Ilhuicamina who grew up to rule the Aztec Empire from 1469 to 1481. His extensive military actions included waging war against the Tarascans in the territories of Michoacán that partially borders on Lake Chapala.
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