A Conversation about Oaxacan Ball Games and Mexican Indigenous Migration

Leopoldo Peña
L: Leopoldo Peña, [San Fernando, CA], 2013. A pelota mixteca player wears a mitt adorned with Mesoamerican motifs. R:Leopoldo Peña, [Oceanside, CA], 2015. A pelota mixteca match at a public park in Oceanside.
LOS ANGELES—Since the 1980s, nearly 150,000 people of Oaxacan ancestry have migrated to California. One way they have maintained cultural ties to their homeland is by playing the traditional game pelota mixteca or Mixtec-style ball.

Moderated by Chief Curator Matthew H. Robb, this talk examines the origins of these games in ancient Mesoamerica and their popularity today. Panelists include artist Leopoldo Peña; Dr. Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, UCLA Center for Labor Research; and Fidel Salazar Rosales, President of AJDATEO (Asociación de Juegos y Deportes Autóctonos y Tradicionales del Estado de Oaxaca).

Following the discussion, enjoy refreshments and a 3:30pm demonstration game of pelota mixteca outside the Museum on Wilson Plaza.

Saturday, April 21, 2–4pm
Fowler Museum at UCLA

Register for free here
Parking: UCLA Lot 4, 398 Westwood Plaza, directly off Sunset Blvd | $12/day


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