Music from the Huasteca Region of Mexico
The sound of three violins fills the air with a feisty melody that is produced by the notes of the huapango. Meanwhile, three male voices sing stories related with the Mexican culture.
Nearby, a cheerful crowd watches as young dancers joyfully stomp their feet on a wooden platform following the traditional steps of this musical genre. Then, as the rhythm shifts to a more melodic tune, they make the “resting step” silently crossing one foot in front of the other, while gently swaying their bodies from side to side.
Where is Huapango Music From?
This loud and lively rhythm is not exclusive of one of the Mexican states. On the contrary, the multiple territories that conform the region known as the Huasteca, including Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Hidalgo, Querétaro, Veracruz and Puebla, share the same musical tradition of Spanish and prehispanic influence.
Combining the war dances that already existed in that region with Spanish musical traditions and instruments, the natives adopted and then created a combination between Flamenco and Fandangos to give birth to the huapango, a word that comes from the Nahuatl term Cuanhitlipango that means: “dancing on a wooden platform”.
The music and dances that produce this genre are frequently played and danced in parties but they are also performed in festivals, in which case dancers wear typical costumes. On one hand, women wear beautiful strapless blouses called mañanitas. Their skirts reach knee height and their fullness makes their legs show when they are tapping their feet on the platform. On the other hand, men wear elegant trousers with a white shirt and a black or white hat as well as colorful scarfs that they not only use as an accessory but as a dancing tool.
If you are planning a trip to Mexico, give yourself the chance to discover this genre that is one of the many examples of the Mexican musical tradition –just like the Mariachi. Remember that there are so many varieties of Mexican music that you will be surprised by their singularities and exclusive instruments such as the marimba and the requinto –a type of guitar. And because we know that “a journey is more than traveling around the world”, we invite you to discover all the other musical destinations around the world.
Did you know that…
One of the most famous huapangos is “El Querreque”. It’s named after the sound emitted by woodpeckers when their beaks tap on the trees: “crr”.
There are also some huapangos that have been composed in the northern states of the country and they include instruments like the double bass.