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Tloque nahuaque

9 February 2009

Ethno-musicology sounds like a rather dry field… or rather that ethno-musicologists must be the kinds of guys who give aid and comfort to the silly parents who make their kids dress in wacky “ethnic costumes” and perform “authentic” dances that bore the hell out of everyone except the doting parents.  And warp the kid for life (I seem to recall being forced into a beret and doing some kind of allegedly French type thing in kindergarten).

But, this is Mexico… where the Gods, Gachupines and Gringos have had their way for centuries, forever (the Gods, anyway).  Ethnomusicologist Jorge Reyes, who died last weekend,  was serious about preserving Nahuatl musical forms… but wise enough (and Mexican enough) to incorporate the Gachupine instruments, and gringo-imported styles.

When looking for some tloque nahauque music on “youtube,” among the things I ran across were Carlos Santana’s “Black Magic Woman” (covered by Lila Downs with a show featuring Nahuatl costumes) and “traditional” rock-n-rollers, El Bunker.  In other words, as with everything else, Mexico incorporates the outside world into itself, on its own terms.

Even punk… as in  La Casta’s  “La Danza de Union”:

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