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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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PROGRAM INFO

Title:
Corridos And A Folklore Heritage
Program #
1978-46
Theme:
Culture

Series:
Folklore, Music
Host:
Armando Gutiérrez
Guest:
Manuel Peña
Date:
Oct 17, 1978

Corridos and a Folklore Heritage

Manuel Peña discusses the corrido, its major themes and how the genre has changed over time. Peña explains that most corridos deal with the theme of intercultural conflict between Chicanos and Anglos in the Southwest. This conflict stems from the land theft and violence that plagued Chicanos in the aftermath of the Mexican American War and Peña says that Mexican folklore often reflects a symbolic interpretation of their present suffering. He explains that there are two general categories of Corrido: Hero Corridos, which older, and victim corridos, which have emerged in the post war period.

The hero corrido, such as Corrido de Jacinto Trevino, describe situations where Chicanos revolt against injustice and Anglo power and despite overwhelming odds, emerges victorious. As such, hero corridos reverse the status of Chicanos so that they emerge the victor. Peña explains that they served to remind Chicanos that even though they were presently suffering they were not going to give up hope.

The victim corrido on the other hand, describes real victims of discrimination and oppression. Corridos such as Los Rinches de Texas and Asesinato de un Niño en Dallas, Tejas retell a true story of moral injustice and then end with a call for organized action. Pena believes these newer corridos reflect the politicization of the Chicano community and its realization that there is power in collective action. Consequently, recent corridos deal with such topics as unionization, labor strikes, the Texas Rangers, politicians and even smuggling. Pena concludes that corridos typify the Mexican American experience.

 

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

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