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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Folklore And Society: Chicano Folklore As Chicano History
Program #

Alejandro Saenz
Felix Peña

Folklore and Society: Chicano Folklore as Chicano History

Host Alejandro Saenz interviews Felix Peña, a teaching assistant in the Center for Mexican American Studies, on the subject of Chicano folklore as a form of Chicano history. Peña teaches a course called the Chicano and his Culture, in which he examines the various forms of Chicano folklore. He explains that folklore is the unwritten history of a people as they have maintained it over the years. This folk tradition has many forms, including the corrido, decimas, jokes and riddles. The most well known genre, the corrido, is based on the Spanish romances and has often been a way of retelling epic stories. Corridos have also been a way of transmitting news almost immediately after it happened, and corridos have dealt with a variety of topics from contraband to the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst.

Corridos also offer the Chicano point of view on various historical events and topics and as such represent one source for illuminating Chicano history and how Chicanos interpreted certain events. Peña suggests that scholars and students use folklore as an instructional medium and a way to access histories that are not documented or taught.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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