Opata Music

Although we are still in the process of research and recovery of our culture where we hope to find more music created by us Opatas.

And so many others scattered and ignored that testify with their beauty and persistence to be the favorite Art of our people full of sensitivity and that, consequently with music, dance and dance is born, the first to express their joys and emotions, as such people-centered and positive that they are and, the second, as the Dance of Invocation of the Clouds, demonstrates, our way of praying, as we are an essentially agriculturist town, to impetrate the blessing of the rain.

Our dances and games combined with singing and music are a reason for our “guatequis” or parties, as to commemorate historical events and events.

For the moment, thanks to the decades of field research conducted by Rodolfo Rascón Valencia, the following Opata musical pieces are known, some of them are performed in Yucatán, Sinaloa, Durango, and Nayarit, and are part of the musical folklore of the indigenous brothers of those lands. It should also be noted that (Bacadeguachi) Bacadehuachi is the town that achieved the most musical contributions:

The List

Of the Opatas de Bacadehuachi, the title means “the flower of the maidens,” a plant known as salvia. The missionaries learned it and took it to the south to execute it and popularize it among the natives (the Huicholes de Nayarit interpreted it as a version modified in the 20th century on television with violins).

Beautiful song of cradle, composed by the Opatas of Nacori Chico, with dedication for Santa Rosa de Lima, the new patron of the community since 1770.

Tepacheña song rescued thanks to the collaboration of Mr. Rodolfo Rascón and Professor Francisco “Pancho” Blanco.

Composed by the Opatas in Cumupas (Cumpas), the teacher and musician cumpense Don Salvador Burruel sang it complete, but unfortunately, it was never documented, although thanks to his son Manolo Burruel in 1985, some verses were documented only.

Composed in Bacadehuachi, this festive and happy song with the name we give to the vulture; the verses that were rescued in 1985 were thanks to Ramon “El chinura” Figueroa (two years before his death).

Sung and danced by the Opata Eudebes de Nacori Chico every February 2 (day of the Candelaria) during the party of the taguaro; but later by the Bacanorense Reyes Ruiz Salas (founder of the Pinos Altos Ranch) the celebration was moved to January 6 (The Day of the Holy Kings), but in exchange for the favor, each year, he donated a beef that was prepared for the celebration.

Song “chusca” of the Opatas de Huachinera and Bacadehuachi. It was rescued thanks to the fact that in 1980 only the sisters María, Mariana and Anatolia Valencia López, Bacadehuachi, as well as don Heriberto Cuevas Beltrán, opaque of Huachinera and her compatriot Rosa Aguilar de Sata Cruz.

This joyful melody consists of two parts to the rhythm of six eighths and it is interpreted in many towns and they dance improvising a varied and nice choreography.

Strange and beautiful song of the Opatas de Ophutu (Oputo / Opoto), name that was changed by “El Tartamudo” and until the middle of the 20th century, the members of the local mariachi “Los chabacanos” by Don Isidro Arvayo played and sang it, with the name of the carpenter.

Then this song was taken to Yucatan by the Opatas who arrived alive in the Yaqui genocide expulsion in which not only our Yoeme brothers were greatly affected but also Opatas, Mayos, Guajiros and other indigenous people of the region. In Yucatan the song was changed and another song and other music were awarded; recorded in 1927 by the trio Garnica Ascencio.

In 1937, Antonio “El chueco” Varela, from Tepupa, used the original music of this song with another letter that made “choteo” and “guasa” of all the young pueblerinas of the center of the state of Sonora, and renamed the song as ” The girls of the villages. ” In the original version (of the Chabacanos) and in that of “el chueco” Varela, the 3rd is used. and 6th. lines of each sexteta, to stutter the words and phrases, in such a way that they are difficult to understand, but extremely funny.

It is a song of Opatas of Nacori Chico with a slow pace and pitiable; It was created with the purpose of entertaining and making the listener smile. Part of her letter was rescued, the last person known knew her complete was Nicolas Fimbres in 1980.

Song of Bacadehuachi that makes a funny story of an adventure that his composer lived when he saved his skin climbing in the trees that he cites “the tésota and the chínota”, when attacked by a herd of coyotes. In 1980 the only one who sang it was Aberto Moran Galindo.

Song of Bacahadehuchi that is said to have been moved to this town by Guarijíos surnamed Ayón, at the end of the 19th century. It is also a small work performed Opata-Guarijío in which a man and a woman danced, sang and conversed in their language and in Spanish.

In 1986, Rodolfo Rascón visited several villages of Yoeme, Yoreme and Macurawe (Guarijío) to investigate the origin of this melody, but no one remembered hearing it. The rescue of this song was thanks to the singer Rita Romero Moreno from Valencia.

It’s like we the Opatas call the wheat flower (ears of wheat), it’s a very beautiful Bacadehuachi song but very brief given that much of its lyrics were lost.

Es una canción de los Opatas de Güepaca (Huepac) rescatada por el profesor Manuel Sandomingo en su libro Historia de Sonora. Esta canción era también interpretada durante la celebración del taguaro y se escenificaba en el cerro del Bûrichi, cercano al pueblo.

Song of Bacadehuachi, its title means “the wind buzzing in the canyon”, was rescued thanks to Rita Romero Moreno from Valencia.

As Opatas we call the Tecolote, this strange and beautiful musical piece in early XX played two orchestras that existed in Bacadehuachi involving cello, flute and clarinet mimicking the “Cucu” Tecolote with different voices bass responds with a deep and husky voice, mimicking an old owl with a lot of throat, with a powerful and ugly song.

It means child and is a product of Nacori Chico and Bacadehuachi, it is a simple, childish and funny music, rescued thanks to the good memory and better disposition of Mrs. Anatalia Valencia de Fimbres. It is one of the favorite pieces of us the Opatas, but for a long time it remained alien to the popular taste for the lack of diffusion (song in two rooms).

Very old melody to which in the last decades of the nineteenth century a very sympathetic letter was adapted, alluding to a railway machine that broke down on the way to Pilares. Nestor Fierros Moreno, an Oputense historian, sang this melody complete.

Listen the audio.

Title imposed on this piece by Pepe Madrid Durazo de Nacori Chico, first cousin of the actress Isela Vega Durazo in the decade of 1960-1970, when some cultural emissaries of the Yaqui tribe, touring these towns, performed it on the harp, violin , guitar and drum. According to the arpero, this melody was learned from the Opatas of the region.

The Fourth Dance of the Taguaro party, danced in the celebrations of the virgin de la Candelaria in Bacadehuachi, until its prohibition, by the government of Plutarco Elias Calles in 1923, modified and used as a zapateado in the song “Los Enanitos”.