Once a year, Abad Macario Díaz puts on his padded jaguar mask and slings jabs and uppercuts in an impromptu outdoor fight club. Hundreds of spectators pour in from his hometown of Acatlan, Mexico to watch this age-old ritual, known as Tiger Fighting (a misnomer since they wear Jaguar masks).
“The main reward is rain,” he says in this video produced by Storyhunters Nancy Lillian De la Cruz and Nicolas Cruz.
To petition a bountiful harvest from the God of Rain, participants dance, whip and box each other.
“Without this rainy season, well, there wouldn’t be a harvest. And if there’s no harvest, there’s no food. And if there’s no food, there’s no Acatlan,” Díaz says.