The word “mariachi” comes from the French word marriage. Mariachis are used in some parties but mainly they are used in marriages and weddings.
Mariachis are descendants of some Mexican tribes; they belonged to the Cocula zone in the Jalisco state. This tribe arrived to Cocula in the century XVI. The “coca” people were people with music skills.
Mariachis or bands, in the beginning only had stringed instruments.
Mariachis groups are a musical set typical of Mexico. The mariachis groups are a symbol of the Mexican culture; because they are known in the entire World.
There are a lot of famous song authors that had written many songs for the mariachis groups, like Ruben Fuentes, Jose Alfredo Jimenez, Tomas Mendez and Manuel Esperón.
A mariachi group is made up of 7 or 12 musicians; it doesn’t have a limit of the people who can play in the group. The instruments that they used to play are the guitar, guitarron, violin, vihuela, trumpet, flute and sometimes a harp. Some mariachis bands that are in the United States also use an accordion.
The mariachis bands not only play original music from Jalisco, now they also play different styles of music like ballad, “rancheras”, corridos, Mexican waltz, they can play a lot of traditional music of Mexico.
The first sets of mariachis were dressed with Mexican costumes of the states of Colima, Nayarit and Jalisco. The costume was made with a cotton blanket and with a hat made of straw. But in the beginning of the century XX, the mariachis bands started to use new costumes in their presentations. The new costume is what we know now as a “charro suit” or “traje de charro”. This costume is black or sometimes it can be also white and it has ornaments of different colours. They still use a hat and the color of the hat depends of the suit that they use.
The mariachis used to appear in the Mexican movies, which help them to be more famous in the entire world. The first mariachis women appeared in the middle of the century XX in Mexico City.
In the capital of the country, there is a famous place in the downtown called “ Plaza Garibaldi”, in that place you can find a lot of groups of mariachis playing there.
So if you want to visit Mexico you need to go to that places like plaza Garibaldi, because you can see the real traditions that we have here in Mexico.