http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/RL/00575

Mariachi, string music, song and trumpet

Inscribed in 2011 (6.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Country(ies): Mexico

Identification

Description

Mariachi, string music, song and trumpet

Mariachi is a traditional Mexican music and a fundamental element of Mexican culture. Traditional Mariachi groups, made up of two or more members, wear regional costumes adapted from the charro costume and interpret a broad repertoire of songs on stringed instruments. Ensembles playing ‘modern Mariachi’ include trumpets, violins, the vihuela and guitarrón (bass guitar), and may have four or more musicians. The wide repertoire includes songs from different regions, jarabes, minuets, polkas, valonas, schottisches, waltzes and serenades, in addition to corridos (typical Mexican ballads narrating stories of battles, outstanding deeds and love affairs) and traditional songs depicting rural life. Modern Mariachi music has adopted other genres such as ranchera songs, the bolero ranchero and even the cumbia from Colombia. The lyrics of Mariachi songs portray love of the earth, hometown, native land, religion, nature, fellow countrywomen and the strength of the country. Learning by ear is the main means of transmission of traditional Mariachi, and the skill is usually passed down from fathers to sons and through performance at festive, religious and civil events. Mariachi music transmits values of respect for the natural heritage of the regions of Mexico and local history in the Spanish language and the different Indian languages of Western Mexico.

Documents

Decision 6.COM 13.30

The Committee (…) decides that [this element] satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as follows:

  • R.1: Transmitted from generation to generation and continuously recreated during festive, religious and civil events, Mariachi music strengthens the sense of identity and continuity of its communities, within Mexico and abroad;
  • R.2: Inscription of Mariachi on the Representative List could contribute to the visibility and awareness of the significance of the intangible cultural heritage thanks to its viability and cultural syncretism, and could foster mutual understanding and dialogue;
  • R.3: The strong commitment of the communities and practitioners, as well as local, regional and national institutions, to safeguard the element through a range of safeguarding measures is demonstrated;
  • R.4: The nomination has been submitted with the wide and active participation of the communities of practitioners who gave their free, prior and informed consent;
  • R.5: Mariachi is included in the Inventory of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mexico, maintained by the National Council for Culture and Arts, as a result of a comprehensive and collaborative process among concerned stakeholders.

Inscribes Mariachi, string music, song and trumpet on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Slideshow

Video



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