Bring your lunch and head over to the Museum (or to youtube.com/@mchistorymuseum) to learn from Illinois Wesleyan professor of Music History and Theory, Dr. Adriana Ponce, on Thursday, December 7 at 12:10 p.m.
Ponce will present on Venezuelan musical traditions, specifically, Venezuelan aguinaldos—the country’s traditional Christmas music. Typically, aguinaldos retell the story of the birth of Jesus or invite people to the more social side of the celebration.
However, in the mid-20th century, another form of aguinaldos emerged, combining the earthly and the divine by relocating the Nativity in Venezuela. These songs set biblical stories in Venezuela, making Jesus, Mary, and Joseph from the Andes, wearing local garments, eating local foods, and playing instruments from the region.
While these songs can be viewed through a lens of nationalism or cultural resistance, they can also be used to better understand the relationship between performative celebrations and local traditions.
These aguinaldos have allowed people to insert their surroundings into a beloved foundational story and circumscribe full access to it—with its added layers of meaning.
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