Ancient Mexican Musical Instruments

by Othon Gonzales

One of the most popular ones is the ” marimba “. It’s an instrument of the percussion family similar to a xilophone.
Mexican Marimba
It’s origins come from Africa.
The natives there invented the ” balafon ” which uses empty pumpkins all sizes below to create the sound in different tunes.
African origin of the marimba

When the Africans were brought to Central America in the 1700s, they brought it with them and after a century, a Mexican man from Chiapas developed the “marimba” with wooden bars, struck with mallets. It was played first in 1892 in that state and 50 years later it was been played all over the country.

It can be played with two or three men and you can see them here on the island at the main plaza outside the restaurants.

Marimba showcase

Now, if you want to see a marimba and also an African balafon, go to the music store ” Pax ” (music in Maya) on Juarez Ave, between 10th and 15th Ave. and ask for Alex… He is a very kind person and will show them to you.

Tati´s Photo tip:

Taking portraits of musicians and bands is an experience unlike any other. Conventional rules of photography need not apply. Creativity is a given – and pushing the limits of innovation is required. Storytelling quality is paramount.

Best results are acheived with a small f-stop number (f 4 or less) for a narrow DOF (depth of field). Also using your zoom (longer folcal length) might lead you to graet images. Choose the Portrait setting on your point-and-shoot camera.

Take lots of pictures, feel the music & ENJOY!

Close-Up Mirimba


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