Chichuahua Culture: Most Outstanding Characteristics

The culture of Chihuahua shows a mixture of the groups that interacted during the Colony, as well as the societies that have been inserted today in the state.

During the Colony, the aborigines, the Spaniards and the blacks united giving rise to the mestizo culture, which is the one that currently predominates in Chihuahua. From this mixture emerged elements that define the current culture of the state.

For example, current religious traditions are the alloy between European beliefs and Aboriginal beliefs. On the other hand, some dances include African elements, such as the drum.

Immigrant groups have also shaped the culture of Chihuahua. One case worth mentioning is that of the Mennonites, a religious group of Swiss origin that came to the state in the early 20th century.

Many of the products made by these groups are part of the Chihuahuan cuisine, such as Mennonite cheese, butter and milk cream.

The conditions of the terrain of Chihuahua also contributed to forge the culture of this state. The impossibility of developing extensive agriculture made the inhabitants, both aborigines and colonizers, learn various techniques to preserve food, which is observed in Chihuahuan gastronomy.

Gastronomy

The gastronomy of Chihuahua is characterized by the use of meats, processed wheat-based products and various types of cheeses.

The apple occupies a fundamental position in the cuisine of Chihuahua, since in the valleys of that state there are hundreds of hectares planted with apple trees.

It is common to find dehydrated products, such as canned fruits, dried meat, chili powder, and dried corn.

This is due to the fact that the first settlers of this territory realized the impediments that existed to develop agriculture: steep mountains, sudden changes in temperature and lack of water.

For this reason, various techniques were used to preserve food.

Among the cheeses, the Chihuahua cheese stands out, also known as Mennonite because it is prepared by this town. Asadero cheese is also made, which is usually eaten with corn tortillas.

The typical drink of the area is tesgüino, also known as batari or sugiki, which is prepared with tender corn sprouts and other herbs.

These herbs are boiled and left to ferment for two days. The mixture obtained is white and thick, and its flavor is slightly bitter.

Some of the typical dishes of Chihuahua are:

The kid to the shepherd

It is a dish that is prepared with roasted goat.

Machaca with egg

It is macerated and dehydrated meat.

Red chili with dried meat

It is prepared with beef and red peppers.

Chili with cheese

To prepare this dish, peppers are taken, opened and filled with slices of melted cheese.

The burritos

They are wheat flour tortillas filled with machaca, ham, cheese, beans and avocado.

Bear broth

It is made with typical local fish, aromatic herbs and red peppers.

Soup

It is one of the best known desserts. To prepare this dish, a dough is made of yeast wheat flour.

The dough is rolled out in a circular shape, cut into four parts and fried. It is accompanied with brown sugar molasses.

Fruit apricot

They are pieces of dehydrated fruits.

Religious festivals

Our Lady of Guadalupe Day

The Virgin of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico, which is why celebrations are held throughout the country in honor of this Marian dedication.

Traditionally the party takes place on December 12. However, it can go on for more than a day.

During this festival there are dances and concerts, both of contemporary music and aboriginal music. Liturgical acts are also held, such as masses and processions.

Santa Rita Day

Santa Rita is a patron saint in Chihuahua. In honor of this saint, on May 22 of each year a fair is organized in which local products are sold, such as crafts and typical food of the area.

San Isidro Labrador Day

The day of San Isidro Labrador is celebrated with traditional dances. These dances are performed throughout the day without interruption.

At the end of the day, the dancers and visitors participate in a parade.

Santa Barbara Day

On December 4, Santa Barbara’s Day is celebrated. During this festival, dances are performed, such as the dance of the archers and the Aztec dance. The celebration can last for more than one day.

Crafts

In the state of Chihuahua there are various samples of handicrafts, made both by the white and mestizo population and by the indigenous population of the place.

Among the handicrafts, objects made of leather stand out, such as hats, belts, wallets and boots, among others. Woven objects such as blankets, tablecloths, traditional dresses and embroidered cloth are also made.

Likewise, wood works such as tables, chairs, toys and masks are made. As for goldsmithing, work is done in gold, silver and bronze.

Music

In Chihuahua there is a set of musical styles highly influenced by the immigrants who arrived from central Europe in the 19th century.

The redova, the mazurka, the polka or the chotis are mixed with the traditional northern music giving rise to a series of songs or dances very characteristic of this region of Mexico.

Some of the most used musical instruments in Chihuahua are the accordion, the violin, tenábaris, tololoche, snare or bass sixth. 

Religious beliefs of aboriginal groups

Although Chihuahua is a Catholic state, there are still aboriginal groups that preserve their traditions. Such is the case of the Tarahumara, also known as rarámuris.

According to these aborigines, the creator of all beings was Onorúame. This deity created the Tarahumara from clay.He gave the man three puffs of his breath to come to life, while he gave the woman four.

Each of these puffs represents the souls with which a person is endowed. Women have four because they can give birth, which men cannot.

Onorúame’s brother wanted to imitate him and created figures from ash. However, it only blew once, so the created beings were incomplete. According to the Tarahumara, these beings are the mestizos and the whites.

References

  1. Retrieved on November 6, 2017, from britannica.com
  2. Retrieved on November 6, 2017, from history.com
  3. Chihuahua, Mexico. Retrieved on November 6, 2017, from houstonculture.org
  4. Chihuahua tradition. Retrieved on November 6, 2017, from wikipedia.org
  5. Culture in Chihuahua. Retrieved on November 6, 2017, from visitmexico.com.mx
  6. Gastronomy in Chihuahua. Retrieved on November 6, 2017, from enjoymexico.net
  7. Traditional Foods of Chihuahua. Retrieved on November 6, 2017, from backyardnature.net

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