Cultura

E Pluribus “Uno”

Latino ( of the Americas- Spanish speaking), Hispanic ( Spanish-speaking, Spanish descent), Tejano (Texan of Mexican heritage), Mestizo (mixed indigeneous and Spaniard European).  The U.S. is home to Latinos of all national origins and races.  Texas has been most influenced historically by the close Spanish and Mexican/American relationship over the generations.  A unique culture of these two cultures has developed in most regions of the state.   In 2008 66% of Latinos in the U.S. were of Mexican heritage, 9% were Puerto Rican, 3.4% Cuban, 3.4% Salvadoran, 2.8% Dominican, and the remainder were of Central American, South American, or other Latino origin.  Today 48.4 million Americans are of Latino origin, and by 2050 this number will reach 132.8 million. “Culture” is the pattern of behavior , attitudes, goals, and values shared by groups, and expressed in various forms.  The American culture draws from the beauty of many cultures to drive forward  the unique American spirit.  Culture speaks!

 

Folklore

Every culture has stories passed from generation to generation aimed to teach the beliefs and the ways of the ancestors.  In Latino folklore one such tale serves as a warning to children.  Most young children of Latino culture were warned by parents not to venture out in the dark.  La Llorona is still told within famlilies today, and small children are still left shivering.  The crying woman is found in the  rich folk music of Mexico, and can be heard played by Mariachi musicians in Texas.  Story told in link below:

Watch Video:

La Llorona

TEJANO music is a true melting pot of Texas cultures.  It was born of the sounds of early settlers to the great state, and combined German, Mexican, Polish, and Czech elements.  Tejano is an innovative American genre, and still very popular across cultures.  To learn more and hear a sampling of a Native Tejana musical icon click below:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127033025&sc=emaf

 

TRADITION

Throughout Latin America the “Quinceañera” celebration is a recognized rite of passage for young women.  The tradition has deep indigenous roots dating back to Aztec practices from around 500BC.  At the age of fifteen boys were expected to become warriors.  For girls, it was a time for presentation to the community as a young lady with all the responsibilities of womanhood.  The celebration is filled with tradition and symbolism, but is centered on the spiritual commitment that the young lady makes to her faith, church, and  family.  It can be a hugely elaborate celebration of pride for  a community, giving parents, Godparents, extended family, and friends a role in affirming cultural values.

Mission Espada- San Antonio, TX 1731 (founded 1690)

Chikawa Aztec Dancer- Conroe, TX

Abuelita teaches the art of tamales


Pan American Roundtable founded in San Antonio

“Vaquero” by Luis Jimenez in Houston

The first cattle drives originated from the (San Antonio) Spanish missions in Texas.  Vaqueros drove hundreds of cattle, sheep, and goats to Louisiana during the American War for Independence to supply American colonists. Spain’s real intent was to weaken the British militarily and financially.

Mexican farm workers in Rio Grande Valley, TX 1905

The Texas economy has long maintained a strong connection to its southern neighbors-  influencing customs among Texans.