Matachines Guaje of Jose Lucrecio Baca
A guaje is a percussion musical instrument also sometimes called a rattle or maraca. This guaje consists of a wooden hollow ball filled with seeds or beads mounted on an unpainted, wooden handle. The ball is painted with a black abstract design, possibly a ship. The background is striped: red, unpainted and green. A guaje is held in the right hand of a Matachines dancer.
The artifacts in this collection were used by the Matachines Dance Group led by Jose Lucrecio Baca. They were donated by his daughter. Mr. Baca, of Hispanic descent, learned Matachines dances in Taos, NM, where he grew up. He moved to Pueblo, CO in the 1940s and continued the dances. In the 1990s, Mr. Baca was awarded a grant by the Colorado Council on the Arts to travel throughout Colorado to revitalize the Matachines Dances.