21 de noviembre de 2019
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
Hispanic World

Mexico's Tzeltal women breaking down barriers performing traditional music

By Mitzi Mayauel Fuentes

By Mitzi Mayauel Fuentes

Oxchuc, Mexico, Sep 22 (efe-epa).- Women of the Tzeltal tribe in southeastern Mexico are breaking down barriers performing ancestral music from their villages, a role that had been reserved for men but which some of the ladies are pursuing in their fight to gain respect and recognition and to end discrimination against their gender.

Blanca Estela Gomez, 25, is one of the women who decided to get into traditional music, and she told EFE that she gained a passion for it when she began to become acquainted with her ancestral culture thanks to the workshops offered by the culture center in Oxchuc, a town in Mexico's Chiapas state.

"I really became interested in wanting to learn when I heard the traditional music among the prayers the family made, that sparked my interest in wanting to learn, it made me want to play the guitar well," she said.

For the past five years, the Oxchuc culture center has been pursuing a campaign of inclusion, among the aims of which is to open the door to women who are interested in learning to play musical instruments and the songs that accompany the so-called "Pat O'tan," which in the Tzeltal language means "ceremonial speech," of the "Kavilto" (one who prays, or shaman).

"What our grandparents said, and they were right, is that music is sacred. There are places where only men play the music. Right now, we don't see it like that in my situation as a teacher of traditional music. I don't want to set women apart, and they say that there's gender equality, so here they learn equally and it's very nice," Manuel Santis Gomez, a teacher of traditional music at the culture center, told EFE.

The Oxchuc residents consider themselves to be guardians of an ancestral culture for which music is a fundamental part. It not only harbors melodies and lyrics, but it also contains the identity (of the people) and it contains much poetry.

Breaking the tradition has been gradual. Santis Gomez said that they start teaching the women to play the guitar and raising the awareness of the tribespeople that a women is also strong and can play too.

Blanca Estela's dream is at some point to accompany the ancestral musicians at the ceremonies, but for the moment she is content to play only for her family and friends.

"They support what I'm doing because I do it well. It's part of the culture, it's part of our tradition. Whenever we want to have a prayer within our family I can play the guitar accompanied by someone playing the harp," she said.

She said she is very secure in her abilities, adding that she's ready to accompany or lead the Pat O'tan.

Reina Guadalupe Perez has been learning to play the harp for four months, walking half an hour to get to her classes, and she dreams of playing the instrument well. So far, her family has supported her and she hopes to be accepted and recognized as a traditional musician.

"I want to play the harp, right now it's changed, they're taking us into account a bit more and ... my mother is happy I'm here, she pushed me and it's something I want to do, ... because it's something one feels and I'm here because I like this and they are new experiences," she said.

These women are the first to try and break down the myths surrounding music among their people, seeing it as an opportunity to ensure that their traditions and language survive.

Histórico de noticias
Google awards 25 research projects in Latin America

Bogota, Nov 19 (efe-epa).- A total of 25 projects in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Peru, including research into health issues such as skin cancer,...

White House officials astonished, concerned over Trump's request of Kyiv

By Alfonso Fernandez and Alex Segura

Brazilian prosecutors accuse former Paraguayan president of money laundering

Rio de Janeiro, Nov 19 (EFE).- Prosecutors in the Lava Jato (Car Wash) case this Tuesday accused former Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes (2013-2018), who...

Miami undertaking campaign to capture stray cats

By Alberto Domingo

California sues Juul, largest manufacturer of e-cigarettes

San Francisco, Nov 18 (efe-epa).- The state of California on Monday filed a lawsuit against Juul Labs Inc., the largest US manufacturer of e-cigarettes,...

US withdraws legal objection to Israeli settlements in West Bank

Washington, Nov 18 (efe-epa).- The US government on Monday altered its stance on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank by rejecting a 1978 State...

Deforestation in Amazon rainforest reaches highest level in a decade

Sao Paulo, Nov 18 (EFE).- The Amazon rainforest in Brazil lost 9,762 sq. kilometers (3,769 sq. miles) of its area between August 2018 and July 2019, the...

Trump gives Huawei another 90 days to do business with US firms

San Francisco, Nov 18 (efe-epa).- The US government announced on Monday a new 90-day extension to allow China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to continue...

Italian immigrant made his dream a reality in Uruguayan wine country

By Santiago Carbone

Lula accuses Bolsonaro of destroying Brazil, fomenting hatred

Recife, Brazil, Nov 17 (efe-epa).- Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Sunday harshly criticized the government of President Jair...

Max Verstappen wins Brazil Grand Prix

Sao Paulo, Nov 17 (efe-epa).- Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen, with the Red Bull team, on Sunday won the Brazilian Grand Prix, the next-to-last...

Maduro: De facto dollarization is economy's escape valve

Caracas, Nov 17 (efe-epa).- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that he does not disapprove of the de facto "dollarization" that one sector of his...

Apple removes vaping apps from App Store

San Francisco, Nov 15 (EFE).- Apple Inc announced Friday the removal of all apps related to electronic cigarettes from its mobile App Store amid concerns...

Hyundai to expand Alabama plant to turn out new pickup

Washington, Now 14 (efe-epa).- Hyundai will invest $410 million to expand its assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama, where it will turn out a new vehicle,...

Latin music figures join before Latin Grammys to fundraise for Parkinsons

Las Vegas, Nov 14 (efe-epa).- Figures from the Ibero-American music industry like Luis Fonsi and Ximena Sariñana gathered on the eve of the Latin Grammy...

Google to lay 620 mi. of marine cable to Panama, to be operational in 1 year

Panama City, Nov 14 (efe-epa).- Google announced on Thursday that it will lay a 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) stretch of undersea fiber-optic cable to Panama,...

Goya comes to Havana along with Spanish monarchs

Havana, Nov 14 (efe-epa).- One of Francisco de Goya's iconic self-portraits is coming to Havana along with Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, who on...

New Disney+ platform hits 10 mn subscribers in one day

New York, Nov 13 (efe-epa).- The new streaming platform Disney+ managed to garner 10 million subscribers in the single day since its Nov. 12 launching in...

Spanish royals visit site where Havana was founded 500 years ag

By Carlos Perez Gil

Trump's greatest interest in Ukraine was to investigate Biden, says diplomat

(Updates: Adds info on Taylor and Kent's testimony, Trump's remarks on hearings and other material)

Trump: Trade pact with China close, but more tariffs if no deal

New York, Nov 12 (efe-epa).- The United States and China are "close" to the first phase of an agreement to resolve their trade war, President Donald Trump...

Trump: Many Dreamers are not angels, but criminals

by Laura Barros

Uncertainty reigns in Bolivia after Morales flees to Mexico

Bangkok Desk, Nov 12 (efe-epa).- The crisis in Bolivia following the resignation of President Evo Morales after almost 14 years in office have divided the...

Bolivia crisis: Coup d'etat or power vacuum?

By Laura Núñez Marín