Ursula Mares Figueras
The Huasteca Region and Its Music
Mexico is culturally and geographically divided by various regions. One of them is the Huasteca, which is made up of six states: Veracruz, Querétaro, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas and Puebla, and is inhabited by Nahua, Otomi, Tepehua and Totonac indigenous groups. Although each one has its peculiarities, they share traditions, cuisine, rituals, and music.
One of the well-known musical genres of the Huasteca is the huapango.
With a Bachelor in History on the UNAM and Master in Modern and Contemporary History from the Mora Institute, Figueras researches images and oral memories. She has fifteen years of experience working with oral history methodology and audiovisual tools and has made various documentaries about the Huapango and the Huasteco Sones. Huapango is a family of Mexican music styles from the Nahuatl word cuauhpanco that means 'on top of the wood'. It makes sense since the dancers perform on a wooden platform.
Figueras has also been a speaker at various conferences on the topic of oral history of the Huapango of Veracruz and Puebla. She is involved in a civil association that seeks to preserve and spread the Huapago in the Veracruz municipality of Tepetzintla. Additionally, she has developed interactive and didactic history material for primary school students.
Currently, she is preparing her doctoral research about the construction of visual images of the Mexican and Colombian hippies through photographs.