About this Collection

Hispano Music and Culture of the Northern Rio Grande: The Juan B. Rael Collection is an online presentation of an ethnographic field collection documenting religious and secular music of Spanish-speaking residents of rural Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. In 1940, Juan Bautista Rael of Stanford University, a native of Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, used disc recording equipment supplied by the Archive of American Folk Song (American Folklife Center archive) to document alabados (hymns), folk drama, wedding songs, and dance tunes. The recordings included in the collection were made in Alamosa, Manassa, and Antonito, Colorado, and in Cerro and Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico. In addition to these recordings, the collection includes manuscript materials and publications authored by Rael which provide insight into the rich musical heritage and cultural traditions of this region.

The collection consists of approximately 8 hours of audio recordings (146 titles on 36 recording discs), 1 graphic image, and 218 pages of print material including administrative correspondence, recording logs, song text transcriptions, and publications. The online presentation provides access to 146 audio titles, the graphic image, and all the print material in the collection. This collection documents the musical heritage and cultural traditions of the Hispano residents of the portion of the Northern Rio Grande region spanning Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado.