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Over its long history, Mexico has become a window onto other ways of seeing and living in the world - a pluralistic, diverse, many-layered Mexico that is challenging to fully know or categorize - part unknown and part amazing. Long before Europeans arrived there, Mexico's varied peoples and cultures intersected. Constant migration from north to south, and also in reverse, produced a web of interrelated yet distinct beliefs. A bounty of natural elements united by agriculture and religion formed a broad foundation for highly complex cultures.
The México program at the 2010 Festival illustrated the complexity and diversity of these cultural crossroads by focusing on several representative communities in Mexico today, focusing in particular on indigenous peoples. The Festival site on the National Mall also served as a crossroads where these contemporary communities could engage an international public. Here visitors could meet the Maya - corn cultivators, traditional artisans, and beekeepers; the Téenek, whose ceremonies relate to their position within the natural world and universe; the weavers from Oaxaca who brighten their wool with dyes taken from nature and are neighbors to the producers of mescal and chocolate; the artesa dancers, a living example of the African presence in Mexico, who reaffirm the constant pace and permanence of cultures; the chinelo dancers, where the Spanish and Moorish cross with the local; the chinamperos, creators of lake agriculture, known as chinampas; and the legendary Wixárika who have formed a union to protect their sacred spaces.
And, as at every Festival, visitors could also listen - to the music of the son, with harps, violins, and guitars that created the musical region of the mariachi, which extends from Michoacán to Colima; to the dramatic heart-rending a cappella singing tradition of the cardencheros, which is so distinctive to the plains of the Comarca Lagunera of Coahuila and Durango; and to the Comcáac, who have incorporated rhythms from the United States into their ritual music.
Mexico's contemporary communities strive to preserve their memories and their history in the context of the present day. The crossroads that is Mexico has, like the Téenek fliers, a view of the four directions of the universe while rotating ceaselessly around the sun. When the fliers descend from heaven, they are like rain falling on the earth to fertilize it. Where on earth they land may be regarded as the very materialization of Tamoachan - the place of creation, which the ancient inhabitants of Mexico imagined as paradise. It was that creativity that the Mexico program brought to the National Mall.
Olivia Cadaval and Rodolfo Palma Rojo were Curators and Cristina Díaz-Carrera was Program Coordinator. Alejandra de la Paz, Cultural Institute of Mexico; Martha González Ríos, National Council for Culture and the Arts; and Benito Taibo, National Institute of Anthropology and History, were Project Directors.
Curatorial Advisors included: Arnulfo Ambriz, Carmen Anzures, Francisco Barriga, Rodolfo Fernández, María Antonieta Gallart, Jesús Jáuregui, Xilonen María del Carmen Luna Ruiz, Benito Taibo Mahojo, Rosa María Garza Marcué, Carmen Morales, Fernando Nava, Ángela Ochoa, Daniel Sheehy, Enrique Serrano, José Luis Vera, and Mette Marie Wacher. Regional Coordinators included: Enrique Martín Briceño for Yucatán; Marco Carvajal for Campeche; Ignacio Bonilla Arroyo for Guadalajara; Miguel Angel Fuentes Barrios for Atlatlahucan; Javier Jiménez Terán; José Rafael Medina Avila; Benjamín Muratalla; and Diana Reyes González.
The program was produced in partnership with the National Council for Culture and the Arts, the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico, the Embassy of Mexico, and the Mexican Cultural Institute, with the collaboration of the Consejo de Promoción Turística, Sagarpa, Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, and the Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas.
Rogelio Caballero, Rodolfo Fernández, César González Hermosillo, Jesús Jáuregui, Xilonen María del Carmen Luna Ruiz, Carmen Morales, Benjamín Muratalla, Daniel Sheehy, José Luis Vera
Xochitl C. Chávez, Adriana Cruz Manjarrez, Juan Dies, Rodolfo Fernández, Santiago Garfias, Martha González, César González Hermosillo, Sergio Inurrigarro de la Vega, Enrique Lamadrid, Xilonen María del Carmen Luna Ruiz, Mintzi Martinez-Rivera, Mario Montaño, Genevieve Mooser, Carlos Muench, Olga Najera-Ramírez, Rodolfo Palma Rojo, Gabriela Pérez Báez, Russell Rodríguez, Emily Socolov, Quetzalli Sotelo, Marta Turok, Steve Velasquez, Cynthia Vidaurri, Ranald Woodaman
Artesanía de Hoja de Maíz -- Artesanía de Hoja de MaízAriedna Garcilazo Rosas, 1982-, corn husk crafts, Xochimilco, MexicoRosalinda Rosas Salas, 1968-, corn husk crafts, Xochimilco, MexicoAmalia Salas Casales, 1936-, corn husk crafts, Xochimilco, Mexico
Dulces de Santa Cruz Acalpixca, Xochimilco -- Dulces de Santa Cruz Acalpixca, XochimilcoMaría del Carmen Francisco Colín, 1963-, candy maker, Xochimilco, D.F., MexicoAlfredo Ortega Melquiades, 1963-, candy maker, Xochimilco, D.F., Mexico
Fábrica de Mezcal, Perla Blanca -- Fábrica de Mezcal, Perla BlancaJulia Gutiérrez Santiago, 1969-, mezcal production, cook, Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca, MexicoCutberto Santiago Sernas, 1966-, mezcal production, Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca, MexicoLorenzo Antonio Santiago Gutiérrez, 1987-, mezcal production, Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca, Mexico
Grupo de Fandango de Artesa Los Quilamos -- Grupo de Fandango de Artesa Los QuilamosPrimitivo Efrén Mayrén Santos, 1937-, director, musician, singer, Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, MexicoRosa Cruz Del Valle, dancerVíctor Manuel Díaz López, 1995-, dancer, Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, MexicoCatalino Arlindo Mayrén Cruz, 1996-, dancer, Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, MexicoJulio César Mayrén Santos, 1992-, dancer, Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, MexicoBianca Beatriz Palacios Hernández, 1992-, dancer, Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, MexicoTirso Salinas Juárez, 1980-, musician, Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, MexicoTirso Pablo Salinas Palacios, 1949-, musician, fisherman, Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, MexicoDulce María Santos Sandoval, 1971-, dancer, singer, Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, MexicoJuana Vargas Castañeda, 1991-, dancer, singer, Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, Mexico
Mariachi Tradicional Los Tíos -- Mariachi Tradicional Los TíosMayra Alejandra Hernández Salcedo, 1988-, dancer, cook, Villa Purificación, Jalisco, MexicoGustavo Salcedo Gutiérrez, 1961-, vihuela, mechanic, Villa Purificación, Jalisco, MexicoSalvador Salcedo Sánchez, 1937-, guitarrón, carpenter, Villa Purificación, Jalisco, MexicoHéctor Uribe Castillo, 1978-, dancer, blacksmith, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MexicoJuan Zavalza Sánchez, 1940-, violin, carpenter, Villa Purificación, Jalisco, MexicoFidel Zavalza Lepe, 1981-, guitar, carpenter, Villa Purificación, Jalisco, Mexico
Milperos Maya de Campeche -- Milperos Maya de CampecheElsa María Dzul Cahuich, 1967-, milpa farmer, cook, Bolonchen de Rejón, Campeche, MexicoAlejandra Vera Uc, 1967-, milpa farmer, cook, Bolonchen de Rejón, Campeche, MexicoJuan Leonel Cahuich Ramírez, 1964-, milpa farmer, beekeeper, Bolonchen de Rejón, Campeche, MexicoGerónimo Uc May, 1962-, milpa farmer, beekeeper, Bolonchen de Rejón, Campeche, MexicoGerónimo Alfredo Uc Vera, 1999-, children's games, Bolonchen de Rejón, Campeche, Mexico
Mujeres de Xocchel, Artesanía de Henequén -- Mujeres de Xocchel, Artesanía de HenequénCelsa María Iuit Moo, 1939-, henequen fiber weaver, Xocchel, Yucatán, MexicoSara Carolina Pool Matú, 1992-, henequen fiber weaver, Xocchel, Yucatán, Mexico
Son de Madera Trio -- Son de Madera TrioRamón Gutiérrez Hernández, 1967-, guitarra de son, singer, jarocho instrument maker, Xalapa, Veracruz, MexicoPatricio Hidalgo Belli, 1966-, singer, jarana musician, Minatitlán, Veracruz, MexicoRubí Oseguera Rueda, 1976-, dancer, México, D.F., Mexico
Tapetes de Teotitlán -- Tapetes de TeotitlánMaría Sosa Luís, 1955-, weaver, cook, Teotitlán de Valle, Oaxaca, MexicoJoel Vicente Contreras, 1959-, weaver, Teotitlán de Valle, Oaxaca, MexicoMarcela Vicente Sosa, 1985-, weaver, Teotitlán de Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico
Téenek (Huastecos) -- Téenek (Huastecos)Mariana Crisóstomo Zapata, 1964-, dancer in Palo Volantin ceremony, Tancanhuitz, San Luis Potosí, MexicoHilaria Martínez Santos, 1991-, dancer in Palo Volantin ceremony, Tancanhuitz, San Luis Potosí, MexicoMaría Concepción Méndez Orta, 1942-, dancer in Palo Volantin ceremony, Tancanhuitz, San Luis Potosí, MexicoMaría Juana Santos Miramontes, 1965-, dancer in Palo Volantin ceremony, Tancanhuitz, San Luis Potosí, MexicoBernardino Martínez Santos, 1988-, flier in Palo Volantin ceremony, Tancanhuitz, San Luis Potosí, MexicoRodrigo Martínez Zapata, 1961-, flier in Palo Volantin ceremony, Tancanhuitz, San Luis Potosí, MexicoJuan Reyes Méndez, 1961-, flier in Palo Volantin ceremony, Tancanhuitz, San Luis Potosí, MexicoManuel Reyes Crisóstomo, 1983-, flier in Palo Volantin ceremony, Tancanhuitz, San Luis Potosí, MexicoBenigno Robles Reyes, 1963-, director of Palo Volantin ceremony, Tancanhuitz, San Luis Potosí, MexicoJuan Miguel Santiago Reyes, 1938-, musician, flier in Palo Volantin ceremony, Tancanhuitz, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Wixárika (Huichol) -- Wixárika (Huichol)Alejandro Severiano Carrillo Carrillo, 1952-, craftsperson, Mezquitic, Jalisco, MexicoAnselmo Carrillo Moreno, 1972-, craftsperson, Mezquitic, Jalisco, MexicoMacario Matías Carrillo, 1952-, craftsperson, El Nayar, Nayarit, MexicoJosé Santos Carrillo Carrillo, 1944-, musician, Mezquital, Durango, MexicoCristóbal Carrillo de la Cruz, 1948-, musician, Mezquital, Durango, MexicoLucina Carrillo Carrillo, 1990-, craftsperson, Mezquital, Durango, MexicoSusana Carrillo López, 1970-, craftsperson, Mezquitic, Jalisco, MexicoDemetria de la Cruz de la Cruz, 1979-, craftsperson, Mezquital, Durango, MexicoMarcelina López de la Cruz, 1961-, craftsperson, Agua Aceda, Nayarit, MexicoBasilia Muñoz de la Cruz, 1956-, craftsperson, Tepic, Nayarit, MexicoJaime Carrillo López, 1978-, president of the Wixárika Union's Vigilance Committee, Mezquitic, Jalisco, MexicoRamón de la Cruz Carrillo, 1935-, marakame, shaman, El Nayar, Nayarit, MexicoEleuterio de la Cruz Ramírez, 1971-, Wixárika Union president, El Nayar, Nayarit, MexicoFrancisco González de la Cruz, 1957-, Wixárika Union secretary, Mezquital, Durango, MexicoFelipe Serio Chino, 1978-, Wixárika Union secretary, Tuxpan de Bolaños, Jalisco, MexicoJuan Ortiz de la Cruz, traditional governor
Tequila Caballito Cerrero, Fábrica Santa Rita -- Tequila Caballito Cerrero, Fábrica Santa RitaMiguel Claudio Jiménez Vizcarra, 1950-, owner, Guadalajara, Jalisco, MexicoJavier Alfonso Jiménez Vizcarra, 1955-, owner, Zapopan, Jalisco, MexicoJavier Alfonso Jiménez Terán, 1985-, manager, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
Access to the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections is by appointment only. Visit our website for more information on scheduling a visit or making a digitization request. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.
Enlargements of photographs made by Donald Bush Cordry during his time in Mexico. These were mounted for a 1970s Bellas Artes-sponsored traveling exhibit based on Cordry's collection of Mexican Indian costumes. Included are images of Indigenous peoples of Mexico, fiestas and dances, pottery, boats, weaving, spinning, masks, vendors and markets, churches, and shrines. Depicted groups include the Huichol, Mestizo, Tarascan, Seri, Mayo, Tepehua, Totonac, Nahua, Mazatec, Cuicatec, Chinantec, Zapotec, Mixe, Amusgo, Huave, Mixtec, Chapanec, Zoque, Tzotzil, and Maya. Additionally, there are some self portraits of Donald Cordry and his wife Dorothy.
Donald Bush Cordry (1907-1978) was an artist and photographer who studied the art of Indigenous peoples of Mexico. In 1931, Cordry made his first trip to Guerrero, Mexico, where he became interested in contemporary mask making. In 1934, Cordry moved to New York to work as a marionette designer for puppeteer Tony Sarg. While there, he contacted George G. Heye to learn more about Indigenous Mexican art. This led to a series of collecting expeditions from 1935 to 1938, during which Cordry collected Mexican masks and other artifacts for the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 87-38, USNM ACC 361232
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Additional photographs made by Cordry can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 82-14.
Donald Cordry and his wife, Dorothy Mann Cordry, also donated clothing and musical instruments from Mexico to the Department of Anthropology in accessions 361232 and 355866.
The National Museum of the American Indian Archives holds the Donald Bush Cordry collection of photographs and negatives, 1933-1940, as well as artifacts collected by Cordry.
Photographs of the Donald Cordry Mexican mask exhibit can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 80-3.
The Donald Cordry Mexican mask collection can be found in the Department of Anthropology in accession 355867.