8 julio, 2024

Tabasco culture: art, music, festivals, crafts

The Tabasco culture It is the result of the fusion between the ancient indigenous tradition and the contributions of the Spanish colonization. The Olmecs settled in this territory in southwestern Mexico and implanted their rites, habits and traditions.

Then, in the 16th century, the arrival of the Spanish conquerors meant the introduction of new customs that were integrated or replaced the previous ones.

Today the Tabasco culture is manifested through multiple elements. This can be analyzed taking into account the archaeological heritage and indigenous museums.

The arts (painting, sculpture, literature), music, typical dances, crafts and traditional festivals are also a reflection of the culture of Tabasco.

indigenous cultural heritage

In Tabasco there are more than 1000 archaeological sites from the time before the Hispanic colonization. One of the most famous is the place of La Venta.

There, pyramids and vestiges of the Olmec civilization, which developed its life for centuries in that territory, are preserved.

In Tabasco there are also numerous museums dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of cultural heritage. In the main cities and towns there are civil and religious monuments referring to the Olmec culture.


In Tabasco there have been many outstanding artists in the main artistic disciplines. Mention can be made of watercolourists, painters, writers and sculptors who left their mark on Tabasco and Mexican culture.

Many of the themes used in these works refer to the nature of the region or its tradition and cultural evolution.

Music, typical dances and Tabasco folklore

As for music, the Tabasco tradition stems from the first musical manifestations of the Olmecs. The most common instruments were wind instruments, such as whistles and flutes; and those of percussion, like drums.

Currently the traditional Mayan styles are almost extinct due to the influence of European colonization. Therefore, the greatest proof of that Mayan heritage are the instruments.

However, traditional dances that are still performed today are preserved. Some are that of the white boys, that of David and Goliath, that of the little horse, that of the pochó and the sardine fishing dance.

The typical dance of Tabasco is the zapateo. It arose due to the influence of the Spanish Conquest, when some soldiers performed traditional Andalusian music.

The evolution of these styles ended up generating the tabasqueño zapateado, similar to the Spanish fandanguillo.

Traditional holidays

In Tabasco there were exchange and sale markets on the Mayan and Aztec trade routes.

Between April and May the Tabasco Fair is celebrated, the most massive party in the state. It is a large-scale reproduction of those exchanges, now with more shows, music, parades and other activities. In addition, each municipality celebrates its respective patronal festival.

Tenosique Carnival

The Tenosique carnival is famous in Mexico for its rarity and uniqueness. Its origins are pre-Hispanic, making it one of the oldest on the continent. It takes place from the end of January until Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins.

Tabasco flower

Among the thousands of activities that take place at the Tabasco Fair, a tradition that dates back to 1953 stands out. This consists of choosing the most beautiful woman among all the municipalities of Tabasco.

Officially known as the Election of La Flor de Oro, it has only been suspended three times: due to the floods in Tabasco in 2007, due to the AH1N1 Influenza outbreak in 2009, and due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic in 2020.


It is well known that in the Mexican states artisan products are highly popular.

In the case of Tabasco, the materials most used by artisans are wood, ceramics, natural fibers for textile products, and joloche. These handicrafts create both ornamental figures and useful everyday objects.

shell craft

Tabasco, being located in the Gulf of Campeche, has a great tradition in the elaboration of figures and other handicrafts with marine shells.


Tabasco, on Encyclopaedia Britannica, at britannica.com
Culture of Tabasco, on Explorando Mexico, at explorandomexico.com
Tabasco, on Nations Encyclopedia, at nationsencyclopedia.com
“Tabasco, on the footsteps of the Olmec civilization”, on La petite valise d’Aurélie, at lapetitevalisedaurelie.com
State of Tabasco, on Visit Mexico, at visitmexico.com

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