Schedule of Events
In 1987, the musical group Tribu and the Centro de Apoyo al Desarrollo Etnomusical de México. A.C. (CADEMAC or the Center for Support of the Growth of Ethnomusic of Mexico, C.A.) were invited by the community of Mineral de Pozos to perform the first Toltequidad festival. The idea was suggested by:
1. In Pozos, due to its arid soil and climate, farming and ranching are limited almost to the level of family consumption, artistic opportunities are minimal and industry is non-existent. As a result, workers have to leave town to find work elswhere. Nevertheless, it is a place of historic interest and an attractive ambiance. Yet it is not enough to attract much tourism beyond chance visitors. In view of these circumstances, it was decided to change Pozos into a place with an animated cultural life that would attract numerous tourists -- and thus provide the economic means necessary for its resurgence and betterment. In addition to the financial benefits, the community would also further enrich its own culture. These objectives can be achieved by developing and improving museums, galleries, botanical gardens, concert halls and theaters, in short, forums that increase the cultural appeal of the town. As a result, an archaeological museum was opened along with a workshop/school for making musical instruments, the production of which would be one more attraction and a source of income.
2. It was decided to perform a cultural festival annually to be called the "Fiesta de la Toltequidad". The reasons for the name are:
The area that Mineral de Pozos is located is historically considered Chichimeca, as the first inhabitants of the region are known. The Chichimecas were groups of ethnically related peoples that came from the North as hunter-gathers and some as warriors. Some continue to live as such even now long after the arrival of the Spaniards -- as is the case of the group known today as Chichimeca Jonaz. Others assimilated with settled groups that had arrived earlier, built an advanced civilization, and were known as Teochichimecas (Teotihuacanos ca 650AD) or Toltecs (post-Classical ca 950AD). These last groups understood the significance of civilization and adopted it as a way of life, considering it their heritage, calling it, in the Mexican (Nahua) language, "Toltekayotl". It is an abstract idea derived from the Tolteca word for "highly-trained artist", a concept that encompassed all wisdom - uniquely shown in the culture by reserving the use of black and red ink only for this purpose. It included writing, an advanced calendar, books of hieroglyphic paintings or codices, a knowledge of the ways of the heavenly bodies or astronomy, and especially, "the arts". Furthermore, kindness and honesty in dealing with human beings, the art of eating well, the old traditions, and learning and creativity -- all supported the development of culture. This became the seed of inspiration for greater achievments of the future.
To date there have been nine festivals -- the first, as noted above, was in 1987. In 1988 and 1989, the second and the third festivals took place after which six years passed without a festival. The people of the community then took it upon themselves to organize the festival from 1996 until 2000. There followed yet another three year interruption of the festival basically due to a lack of support. In 2004, The spirit of some of the people involved in the creative arts was awoken anew and a ninth festival took place with great success. For 2005 we decided to follow these previous successes and continue in calling the festival "La Toltequidad" because it is exactly the image the community wants to cultivate. After all, Mineral de Pozos is situated in the Gran Chichimeca.
Mexico is a very diverse country, its people being predominately Mestizo, the result of the fusion of Indian and Spanish blood. Living along with the Mestizos and the 62 indigenous ethnic groups -- who arrived in these lands well before the Spanish -- are smaller groups who arrived with or after the Spaniards such as Chipilos (Venetian immigrants of the ninteenth century), Mennonites, Jews and various groups of people from Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceana and the rest of the Americas. The Mexican people of today are both urban and rural dwellers with subtle but distict regional differences.
In view of this, we feel that the Toltequidad Festival should be a celebration of the unique world called Mexico: With its capacity for a multitude of ways to understand the world; with all peoples living together and sharing enduring and enriching ideas in harmony with the tolerance, respect and freedom that the modern world demands; These Mexicans took as an example the ancient Mexicans who never disdained to learn from others. On the contrary, it was this very acceptance of other ideas which allowed them to be conquerors of all Mesoamerica.
We emphasize that the majority of us that are organizing this festival are closely connected with the arts. Some are musicians, others make the prehispanic musical instruments, still others are dancers, painters, photographers and the like. As in past festivals, we will devote our time and best efforts in the organization of the tenth Toletequidad Festival. Our principal objective will be to share and exchange our knowledge with other artists from other parts of Mexico and, of course, if it is possible with artists from around the world.
Although we are working very hard and are using all our time and effort on it, due to the small community of Pozos and events that are out of our control, we have to ask for the support of generous and caring people to further our plans. In view of the foregoing, if you have are sympatheic to the people of Mexico and you have caught our enthusiasm, we invite you to join in with us. There are many ways to help:
- through monetary donations
- financing an entire event of the fiesta
- donating food, equipment, furniture and kitchen utensils
- promote the festival and its events through the various media, including print, radio and television
- financing some of the construction like the common stage and stairs, dressing rooms, electrical connections, bathrooms, etc.
We thank you in advance.
Very truly yours,
The Toltequidad Fesitval Organizing Committee
Marcelino Ramirez G.
Nestor Vargas R.