Jan. 8, 2009
This episode covers the music and dance of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico--in particular, the state of Chiapas and the sound of the marimba.
In this episode of Arriba! Folklorico Music and Dance of Mexico, we discuss the costume of the Chamula tribe in Chiapas and some of the older
folklorico dances in the state of Chiapas--el Jibali, el Rascapetate and Las Chiapanecas.
As you can see from the image, above, the women wear beautiful, full, black dresses that have been decorated with bright colors with patterns of tropical flowers.
The men of the region wear calzones de manta (trousers), camisa de manta (shirt), huaraches (sandals) and sombrero de paja (straw hat).
As the podcast describes, the men usually work in the plains areas of Chiapas, either cutting wood or cutting sugar cane with their machetes.
1. From the stories of Don Juan Tenorio, the Jibali (wild boar) descends upon the unsuspecting wives of the villagers and tries to deceive them and win their favor. Obviously a symbol of an intruder who preys upon the innocence of the women of the family, the Jibali dances in circles as he enjoys the liberty to win the favor of the women.
However, the men of the village discover what is happening and return to the village, machetes in hand. They deal a vengeful blow and destroy the Jibali, after which they tie him to a couple of bamboo shoots and carry him off the stage. This dance symbolizes the respect for women due by their partners and the punishment dealt to a deceiving intruder.
2. El Rascapetate is another courtship dance, in which the flaring of the rebozo (woman's shawl) highlights the mellow choreography that quickly changes into a fast, dynamic rythm of happiness and the agreement of the woman to the courtship and marriage of her suitor.
3. Las Chiapanecas is the most famous melody of the state of Chiapas, in which the homage is paid to the lovely ladies of Chiapas. Simple and melodic in its tune, this is a favorite among the schools of the US during the Cinco de Mayo festivities, as many of the educational institutions teach the basic steps of this dance to the children. It is a happy and enjoyable melody that rivals only the world-known melodies of Mexican music of the Jarabe Tapatio (a son jalisciense) and La Cucaracha (a corrido from the Mexican Revolution of 1910).
We look forward to the next podcast episode, in which we are trying to confirm an interview. We are trying to confirm with a musician in Austin who is a professional that plays the marimba tropical. We are also trying to locate other musicians who can describe and play for us some of the more famous public domain corridos of the Revolucion Mexicana.
In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the lovely music and dance of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, especially the state of Chiapas.