Mariachi is the Mexican musical expression that has a great vitality within Mexico and abroad, and has been declared by UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Humanity, during the sixth reunion of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage, when it got the unanimous vote of the 24 countries that participate.
With this declaratory, Mexico has seven cultural manifestations inscribed on the list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), achieved by the Mexican Government through the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA) and the National Institute of Anthropology and History
(INAH) during this federal administration.
Mariachi, strings music, song and trumpets was one of the 17 candidatures recommended for inscription analyzed by the Committee; its declaratory sets Mexico with Colombia and Iran-, in the eighth place of the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Humanity, with 7 manifestations. China has the first place, with 29 elements inscribed, followed by Japan with 20, Korea with 13, Croatia with 11, Spain with 10, Turkey with 9, being the seventh place occupied by France, India and Mongolia, with 8 manifestations inscribed each.
During the reunion that takes place in Bali, the Organism in charge of evaluating candidatures remarked the Mexican proposal for its expedient, one of the best conceived and integrated, setting an example for others countries candidatures.
The expedient was presented by the National Institute of Anthropology and History INAH-Conaculta) and the Jalisco State Education Ministry in August 2010. The inscription is the result of a 2-year elaboration ad evaluation process.
The Mexican Delegation at the Committee received with appreciation the inscription on the list, as well as the unanimous vote from the 24 countries that integrate the Intergovernmental Committee, the support of the Latin American and Spain delegations, and the enthusiasm of the host authorities.
The UNESCO Committee decided to acknowledge Mariachi because it matches intangible heritage criteria: it is transmitted generation to generation and continuously recreated during festive, religious and social events; it strengthens the sense of identity and continuity of its communities, within Mexico and abroad.
To present, there are Mariachis in countries all over the world; Aruba (in the Lesser Antilles) is the country with higher demographic density of Mariachis in the world; they sing both in Spanish and Papiamento. In El Cairo, Egypt a mariachi integrated by Egyptian musicians just made its debut last September 15th, day of the Independence of Mexico.
The recent inscription on the Intangible Heritage List will help federal, state and municipal governments, as well as practicing communities, to coordinate efforts to consolidate and reproduce the cultural expression that joints popular wisdom, instrument execution and improvisation of rhythmic and melodic patterns, among other elements.
Mexico on the Representative List of Intangible Heritage
1. The Indigenous Festivity dedicated to the Dead (2008)
2. Ritual ceremony of the Voladores, Veracruz (2009)
3. Places of memory and living traditions of the Otomí-Chichimecas of Tolimán, Queretaro (2009)
5. Pirekua, traditional song of the P´urhépecha (2010)
6. Parachicos in the traditional January feast of Chiapa de Corzo (2010)
7. Traditional Mexican cuisine, the Michoacan paradigm (2010)
8. Mariachi, string music, sing and trumpets (2011)