Revitalization of the artistic heritage of afro-mexican communities
The perspective of Afro-Descendant women
This article problematizes the African identity in Mexico. Its objective is to give meaning to the historical legacies and the erasure of Afro-descendant women in the artistic heritage in the north of the country. As well as describing how and why Afro-Mexican women play a central role in the dissemination of Afro-Latin artistic expression: dances, manufacture of musical instruments, clothing and accessories used in celebration dances and carnivals. It starts from the concept of artistic heritage from cultural studies and the theories of black feminism and Chicano feminism as an epistemological lens to analyze interviews with Afro-descendant women in the State of
Chihuahua. In recent years, Afro-Mexican women have achieved prominence in the political, cultural and artistic life of the country.
There is a call to the rescue of music, popular dances and the acrobatic dance of African
roots that prevails in festivals and carnivals of the north and south of the country. Women
play a central role in the preservation, recovery and cultural promotion of these dances, their
singing and percussion´s music that accompanies them. Also, their contribution is in the
manufacture of musical instruments, costume making and accessories design for women and
men in these celebrations. The family and the community are the main impulses of AfroMexican women’s organizations in the struggle for self-determination of Afro-Mexican identity. Likewise, the political agenda of Afro-Mexican women has been recognized and included in the cultural policies of the local and state governments of the state of Oaxaca and the state of Guerrero. However, it is necessary to go through a phase of recognition in all the states of the country. Despite the constitutional recognition, discrimination, inequality, social injustice and violence against women of the perspective of Afro-descendant women African descent persist. There is a need for the National Commission for the Development of Afro-Mexican Communities to promote policies in the same sense that they are promoted for indigenous. Finally, it concludes from the voices of Afro-descendant women their active role in the construction of Afro-Mexican
identity in the State of Chihuahua, as well as the central role of Afro-Mexican women in
music, dances and carnivals. The study of the meanings, values and speech assumed by AfroMexican women to explain each of the artistic elements of these manifestations allows us
to go beyond the patrimonial register of each dance, song and music present in the Afro-descendant communities in Mexico.