Danzas Matlachines: Tesoros y Patrimonio Cultural, Las Tradiciónes Continúan

Sep. 14, 2018

Sep. 14, 2018 @ 10:00 am Jan. 8, 2019 @ 5:00 pm


On December 9, 1531, an apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared before a newly converted indigenous man, Juan Diego. The Virgen de Guadalupe appeared with a dark complexion and spoke in Nahuatl. She asked that a church be built in her name at the spot of her appearance, Tepeyac Hill near Mexico City and site of a shrine dedicated to the female Aztec deity Tonantzin. Juan Diego relayed his account to the disbelieving local bishop who in turn demanded additional evidence of the apparition. She appeared again on December 12, 1531 and instructed Juan Diego to collect roses in his tilma (a cloak). He took the roses to the bishop and when he opened his cloak, the roses fell to the floor revealing the image of the Virgen de Guadalupe imprinted on the inside. The bishop saw this as confirmation of a divine miracle and it was then that the church was built.

Accordingly, the Virgen de Guadalupe became inextricably tied to the indigenous cultures and traditions of Mexico. Each year, she is honored in on December 12th in a variety of forms including through matachin dances. Coinciding with the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexic-Arte Museum has extended the dates of its exhibition Danzas Matlachines: Tesoros y Patrimonio Cultural – Las Tradiciónes Continúan (Matlachine Dances: Treasures and Cultural Patrimony – The Traditions Continue). The exhibition examines the Matlachin dance traditions from the state of Coahuila in northern Mexico and highlights the continuing cultural practice in Austin, Texas. The exhibition is organized in conjunction with the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Austin-Saltillo Sister Cities collaborative relationship that was established in 1968.

The exhibit includes elaborate dance costumes, headdresses, footwear, banners, accessories, photographs, and video documentary organized by El Instituto Municipal de Cultura de Saltillo and is curated by Ivan Ariel Marquez Morales and Maria Magdalena Davila Salinas. Photographs and objects from artists and Matachine dance groups in Austin also demonstrate the tradition in Texas.

Mexic-Arte Museum would like to acknowledge the City of Saltillo, El Instituto Muncipal de Saltillo, the Consulate General of Mexico in Austin, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Austin, the Austin-Saltillo Sister Cities Associations, all the Matachine dancers and artists that have made this exhibition and tradition possible.

Installation Images