They are unquestionably
one of the most popular symbols of Mexican folklore. Their
music is in demand for lovers' serenades and to add touch
of live oompb to parties.
Their standard attire since 1903 is the traditional
colonial charro suit of short fitted jacket, pants with
linked silver buttons running down the sides, suede boots
and wide-brimmed sombrero.
September 29 is "National
Origin of the word "mariachi" has long been
subject of debate. Some people erroneously claim it comes
from the name of a tree, others from French word
"marriage" (1862). The truth is that historians
have found documents relating the term with ancient bynm
"Maria Ce Son" (1695), which the
indigenous people of Cocula sang to "Virgin
de la Pila" and pronounced "Maria-she
son". The subsequent derivative "mariachi"
was used to refer to the group of musicians who sang and
Today's mariachis accompany their voices with violins,
trumpets, guitars, base guitar and other type of guitar
called "vihuela". They play waltzes,
polkas and traditional Mexican rhythms such as jarabes,
sones and corridos. Their presence is
indispensable at any cockfight, rodeo and outdoor fiestas
and dances. They eulogize Mexican personality.
Mariachis first came to Mexico City in 1896. In 1905, Justo
Villa mariachi band led the celebrations in honor of
President Porfirio Diaz's saint's day and National
From 1930s to 50s, Mexican movies helped popularize
mariachis from Cocula. Noted composers, singers and actors
like Jorge Negrete, Pedro Infante, Jose Alfredo Jimenez
and Lola Beltran immortalized Mexican sound and took it
beyond national frontier.