El Festival de la Huasteca: space for the construction and performance of identity and culture

Raquel G. Paraíso


Social changes in Mexico during the beginning of the second halfof the twentieth century – such as rapid population growth, migrationto urban centers and the United States, and changes in generalliving conditions – contributed to a deterioration of social contextsand conditions for the performance of traditional music. By the1980s, governmental institutions, musicians and cultural promotersstarted to organize music festivals in different regions as a wayto promote and revitalize regional culture and musical practices.Drawing on ethnographic material, I examine the Festival de laHuasteca as a yearly cultural event in which music is experienced asentertainment as well as performance of group identity (ethnic, cultural,and regional) in Northeastern Mexico. The festival also servesas a means of reinforcing Huasteca identity and culture throughmusic, dance, and other cultural expressions.

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