Museo de las Culturas Afromestizas (Museum of Afro-Mestizo Cultures)
Cuajinicuilapa, Guerrero, Mexico
Translated and submitted by Paulina del Moral
Programa Nacional La Tercera Raiz (Third Root National Program), sponsored by the Dirección General de Culturas Populares (Folklife Cultures General Office) of Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (the National Council for the Culture and Arts in Mexico), in coordination with the government of Guerrero state, the municipality of Cuajinicuilapa and Afroamerica Mexico, A.C., has promoted since 1989, a scope of actions to emphasize and spread out the importance of African presence in Mexican culture and the rest of Latin America, as a determining factor in the social composition of these countries.
The Museo de las Culturas Afromestizas was founded by the initiative of the Cuijla people, in the town of Cuajinicuilapa, a center of Afromestizo culture in the Costa Chica region of Guerrero state. Cuijla, the short name for Cuajinicuilapa, was the place where Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán, a prestiged Mexican anthropologist, did his pioneer study of an Afromexican village, "Cuijla. Esbozo etnográfico de un pueblo negro" ("Cuijla. Ethnographical outline of a black village"), in the fifties.
The museum has a strong accent on the local traditions of the Afromestizo cultures in the Atlantic and Pacific coasts in Mexico, with an important indigenous participation. The evidence of Afromestizo mixture in the phenotype in the population of these regions is also present in their vital attitude towards reality, world conception, idiosyncrasy, ways to live and accept life, death and birth; their style of musical interpretation and creation; their preference for certain food and drinks; their pleasure for talk (a special value in African cultures), their idiolects and pronunciation of Spanish language; their passion for the rythm, their extroversion, and their struggle for survival and to reach the right to exist and be accepted. The Costa Chica culture confirms the africanization of the Indian and the indianization of the African.
The museum's scientific speech is based in history, anthropology and ethnography, with a didactic intention, through different visual resources displayed, as maps, maquettes, dioramas, graphics, texts, drawings, documents, engravings, facsimiles, photographs, clothing, masks, musical instruments, etc.
To reach Cuajinicuilapa there are daily land connections from: Acapulco or Chilpancingo, Guerrero, both cities about five hours distant from Mexico City, where bus service is available at the bus south station of Taxque?a. Hotel Blejim is a comfortable place to stay at Cuajinicuilapa, with air conditioner. Phone: (741) 4 03 10 for reservations. More information is available at the city hall, phone (741) 4 03 52.
(The main information in this text was extracted from the official brochure of the Museo de Culturas Afromestizas, edited by Programa Nacional La Tercera Raiz. Additional context data was supplied by Paulina del Moral.)