[Four Reports on Music and Sports of Indigenous Communities in Michoacan, with Manuscript Music and Original Photographs, Submitted to the Secretaría de Educación Publica in Mexico]

Michoacan, Mx. 1933. Collection of typed and manuscript reports gathered in a stab-bound folder, with eleven original photographs with manuscript captions and in-text manuscript figures with captions. Minor wear to folder, some chipping at bottom edge of SEP stationery interleaves, faint dampstain to top portion throughout, otherwise nice condition. Very good. Item #3895

Unpublished research materials from a fascinating and poorly documented indigenous research project of the post-revolutionary Secretaría de Educación Pública. The reports, by the "Committee of Indian Investigation" and the "Institute of the Incorporation of the Indian,” were commissioned during the tenure of Education Secretary Narciso Bassols, a Marxist who believed that rural education, along with agrarian reform, must respond to local needs and existing cultural and economic conditions.

More than half of the file concerns the music of five indigenous Michoacan villages: Chilcota, Etucuaro, Uren, Yanaquillo, and Tacuro and music's suitability as an educational tool for these communities. Written by a local musician and laborer, Araiza, who seems to have also taken the photographs, it documents the popular songs of the area and the musical groups of each town. The second half of the file was written by a member of the Comisión de Investigaciones Indias in Carapan, established by the Secretaría de Educación of "El Gobierno de la Revolución" to incorporate the indigenous communities into the "Gran Familia Mexicana" for the benefit of all. These three reports focus on physical descriptions (vitality, neuro-muscular capacities, physical aspects and abilities) of the Tarasco people of La Cañada de Chilchota and their ball game, La Chueca, a team sport played with a curved paddle. Finally, the author proposes a new variation of lawn tennis, implying a truly "Mexican" sport that could unite indigenous traditions with the mestizo and criollo ones, and provide great opportunity for physical education.

The specific contents are as follows:

1) Araiza, Porfiro.  Report on indigenous music in the towns of Chilcota, Etucuaro, Uren, Yanaquillo, and Tacuro. Includes an introductory letter dated November 30, 1933, reading in part, in English translation: "the indigenous races have a great enthusiasm for music and it can be used in rural environments such as these, not only as a means of artistic education, but also to attract crowds and gather them for other purposes that may be pursued by the Ministry of Education." Together with seven photographs of indigenous music groups, pasted to SEP stationary; 16 pp. manuscript sheet music booklet, "Colección de Sones Michoacanos (Estilo) Purépecha (de autores distinctos)"; and 24 pp. manuscript sheet music booklet "Sones de La Cañada."

2) Aceves Mendoza, Enrique.  Monografia Psico-fisica de los habitantes Tarascos de la Cañada de Chilchota en el Estado de Michoacan. Carapan, Michoacan. October 26, 1933. 5pp. typescript report with two original photographs of characteristic "Tarasco" figures.

3) Aceves Mendoza, Enrique.  La Chueca. Juego de Origen Mexicano. 4pp. typescript report with two photographs of the court and a player.

4) Aceves Mendoza, Enrique. Tennis Mexicano. 5pp. typescript report with in-text figures.

No records of the commission or the institute seem to exist in OCLC, nor can we find any information in the trade.

Price: $3,750.00