Songs of Mexican American Resistance and Cultural Pride
the Southwest, a distinctive musical form known as the corrido
arose among Mexican Americans.
Corridos were fast-paced ballads that told culturally
significant stories. To the sound of a guitar or a bajo sexto,
a twelve-string guitar popular in the Southwest, corridos recounted
epic events and retold the story of the cultural conflicts between
Anglos and Mexican Americans. Many corridos commemorate Robin
Hood-like valientes—men of courage—and "bandidos"
who resisted Anglo authority.
Corridos not only provide a graphic record of
the injustices that Mexican American suffered—including
land loss, cattle and horse theft, and lynchings—but also
celebrated outlaws who stood up to defend the honor of the Mexican
Questions to consider:
Describe the functions that corridos serve.
The ballad tradition survives among Mexican Americans even as
it has declined among most other groups of Americans. Why do
you think story-telling ballads have disappeared among most