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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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Chicano Christmas Cultural Customs
Program #

Music, Religion
Linda Fregoso
Carmen Tafolla, Raquel Pérez
Nov 9, 1981

Chicano Christmas Cultural Customs

With guests Carmen Tafolla and Raquel Perez, host Linda Fregoso explores Chicano Christmas traditions that have fused both Anglo and Mexican practices. Fregoso first explores the tamaladas, or tamale-making parties, that occur at Christmastime. Tafolla explains that Chicanos gather together to make tamales, a food that dates to Pre-Columbian times, and talks about the ways people vary the recipe to suit their financial situations. Perez then describes how her family gathers for the occasion. She explains that tamaladas also serve to pass on Chicano traditions to children and discusses their participation in the festivities.

Fregoso then turns to explore Chicano Christmas music and poetry. Carmen Tafolla reads “Contrabando y Tamales,” her parody of the popular corrido “Contrabando y Traicion.” Fregoso and Tafolla then discuss Chicano bilingual adaptations of famous Christmas carols and stories, like “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer” and “'Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and Fregoso plays several examples.

For Chicanos, the Christmas holidays culminate with the New Year’s celebration and the making of buñuelos [holiday pastries], another Chicano holiday tradition.


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

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