Movimiento Cultural de la Union Indígena

Oaxacan arts and culture

The Movimiento Cultural de la Union Indígena (MCUI) is the traditional arts and cultural preservation component of La Union Indígena, a community-based group of Oaxacan immigrants in California.  The group was founded in 2005 by Triqui immigrants from the villages of Santa Cruz Río Venado, Constancia del Rosario, and Putla, Oaxaca.  Its core membership continues to consiste of Triqui immigrants, but its membership has now expanded to include Chatino, Mixteco, and Zapoteco immigrants.  MCUI is committed to both maintaining its community's unique culture and modes of artistic expression while, at the same time, making them accessible to others.  MCUI's primary goal is to education elementary school-, middle school-, and high school-aged children about their culture, language, traditions, customs, and history.

In 2011, MCUI received a grant from ACTA's Living Cultures Grants Program for their Triqui Dreaming—Artists, Youth, Community Join Together project, which supported artists and workshop leaders working in two areas of defining cultural traditions for Triqui migrants to California: weaving and music.  The Triqui originate from a small region of the Sierra Mixteca of Oaxaca.  For more than three decades, a growing number have been settling in the United States.  Like many immigrant communities, the children are less exposed to the traditional arts of their parents and grandparents.  Through a sequence of 16 workshops, 30 youth participants actively participated in learning music and weaving.  The project culminated in a presentation of work and community celebration.  Activities built upon teenagers’ involvement with traditional culture and inter-generational ties.  The project involved both young women and men, as weaving is traditionally done by women and most musicians are men.


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