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The Infernal Council
Photographs from the
Mary Ann Smothers Bruni Collection
Luzbel soy; Luz hay en mi.
Luz en mi nombre se vé,
y con la luz que bajé
todo el abismo encendí.
I am Lucifer, there is light in me.
Light is seen in my name,
and with the light that I brought down
I have set all the abyss on fire.
--Lucifer in Los Pastores: A Christmas Drama of Old Mexico ,
Disturbed by the shepherds song, the Angel's
announcement, and what they portend, Luzbel (Lucifer) emerges
from the bat, devil, and snake decorated infierno .
Under Victor David Elizondo's direction, the Infernal Council,
particularly the members from the Elizondo family, cared for
and repainted the colorful infiernos , many of which
are documented in Bruni's photographs.
Frustrated in his efforts to disrupt the shepherds' journey
to Bethlehem, Luzbel convokes the Concilio Infernal .
One by one ferocious and colorful devils appear out of the infierno —Satanás,
Esturiel, Belzebub, Astucia, Asmodeo, Pecado, and Astarot—to
plot against the shepherds and the Christ child. The devils
jest and sneer at the name of God and invoke the seven deadly
sins, then flash their swords, march, and sing their support
for Luzbel. The last to arrive at the Concilio is the Pequeño
Diablo , the Little Devil, a role not reflected in don Leandro's
original script but specially created by Victor David Elizondo,
as he admitted in an interview with Bruni, for his son Ray,
who was four years old at the time.
Satanás threatens and pleads vainly with the shepherds
to end their journey. Luzbel encounters the shepherd Cucharón
but is hindered and enraged by the encounter when Cucharón
repeatedly confuses the devil's questions about the Messiah
( mesías ) with his cousin Matthias ( Matías ).
The Hermit, worried at Cucharón's absence, goes in search
of the shepherd and is himself tricked and taunted by the devils.
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