Arts & Culture
4:51 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Traditional Mexican Music Fills Downtown Cobden

Downtown Cobden, Illinois was filled with a Mexican flair Friday night. A traditional seven-piece string band called P’indékuecha travelled from Mexico to Cobden for an evening of music.

The group P’indékuecha preserves the indigenous music of the Purepecha people in the Mexican province of Michoacán. Cobden has one of the largest Mexican populations in southern Illinois, and many of those migrants belong to the Purepecha culture.

The group’s director is Juan Zacarias Gomez. He says they were proud to share their culture and bring a little piece of home to Cobden’s migrants.

“It’s so important for people to feel like they are in Mexico,” Zacarias said in Spanish. “Many people can’t go. We’ve very happy that the migrants keep us in mind and remember their roots and identity and go to such great efforts to bring us from so far away.”

P’indékuecha, which means “traditions” in the Purepecha language, also performed in Chicago and St. Louis during their trip.

Many of the evening’s listeners didn’t speak Spanish or have roots in Mexico.

Zacarias Gomez says it’s fascinating that people with such a different cultural background are interested in learning more about his traditions, and he thinks it sets a good example.

“To me it seems that we are beginning to understand there should be tolerance, an interest in learning more about others who live in the same space,” Zacarias said. “In spite of everything, we are all part of the same planet.”

A Purepecha club will hold a two-day cultural festival in Cobden on August 24 and 25.

This was P’indékuecha’s third visit to Cobden.