Saturday, July 24, 2010

Coahuiltecan Ceremonial Songs CD

Coahuiltecan Ceremonial Songs CD

What: Coahuiltecan Traditional Ceremonial Songs CD Release with accompanying Manual
When: July 4, 2010 Release Date
Where: San Marcos, Texas
Contact: Maria Rocha, (512) 393-3310;;

Indigenous Cultures Institute makes cultural preservation history again with the release of its Coahuiltecan Traditional Ceremonial Songs CD and accompanying language manual that outlines definitions, history, and translations. The CD and manual packets are available from the San Marcos nonprofit organization and profits will benefit its "Powwow in the Schools" program for local school students.

“We recorded thirty-two songs,” says Dr. Mario Garza, Institute Board Chair. “And we provide the translations, vital Coahuiltecan language information, and ceremonial history in a manual that’s packaged with the CD.”

This recording is the first of its kind, documenting words spoken in a language that has long been considered extinct. Carlos Aceves, an educator from El Paso, Texas and Dr. Mario Garza compiled songs that the two have sung over the years in various ceremonies including sweat lodges and Native American Church meetings. These songs are all in the Coahuiltecan language and a number of them have been passed down for hundreds of years. The manual provides information on the origins of the songs and their ties to the ceremonies of the original "peyote people", making a compelling statement about the modern day relevance of the ancient languages spoken by the Coahuiltecans.

“Indigenous people called Coahuiltecan have been living on both sides of the Rio Grande River for centuries,” says Garza. “We had over two hundred indigenous languages in south Texas that have since disappeared. Now we Native people are determined to revive and preserve our native languages and this CD is part of our effort.”

Besides translating all of the songs, the manual also contains a glossary of Coahuiltecan words and their definitions, plus sources for more extensive dictionaries of not only Coahuiltecan, but also Comecrudo, Cotoname, Maratino, Aranama, and Karankawa, which are also Rio Grande Delta tribes.

The mission of Indigenous Cultures Institute is to preserve and promote the cultures, traditions, ceremonies, and languages of Native Americans indigenous to Texas and Northeastern Mexico. This CD project is the first in its new Coahuiltecan Language Program which will expand over the next few years. The Institute also sponsors “Powwow in the Schools” to provide educational and artistic presentations about the indigenous identity of the Hispanic.

“We want our children to feel proud about their Native ancestry,” says Aceves, who teaches elementary school in El Paso. “They stand on the shoulders of giants in the areas of arts, sciences, astronomy, sociology, ecology, and more.” The Institute provides researched information about Native American contributions, performances by Aztec, Mayan, and Powwow dancers, flute players, Native storytellers, and other cultural presentations.

“Now we have a language CD that can help us preserve our culture through the words that our ancestors spoke,” says Aceves.

The CD and manual packets will be available immediately after Independence Day and inquires can be made online at, or by calling the Institute at (512) 393-3310.

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