Mexican-American Folklore

Mexican-American Folklore

Written on 11/05/2020

Born in 1904 on her grandparents' ranch in Roma, Texas, pioneering folklorist and educator Jovita González felt a deep commitment to the people and culture of South Texas.

While attending The University of Texas in Austin, González met J. Frank Dobie, who encouraged her to begin writing for folklore publications. She soon began traveling throughout Cameron, Starr, and Zapata counties, interviewing residents of the borderlands.

González carried a letter of introduction from San Antonio's archbishop and often knitted during her interviews, putting her subjects at ease. She captured the voices of ordinary Mexican Americans seeking to preserve their cultural traditions during a period of tumultuous change.

In 1930, the same year she received her master’s degree in history, González became the first Mexican American president of the Texas Folklore Society.

González's legacy includes two novels published after her death, Dew on the Thorn and Caballero. Discovered by scholars among her papers, these historical romances detail turbulent racial conflicts of the Texas-Mexico border.

"My life's work is the beauty of faith, of lore, and of tradition, amidst the sufferings of life."

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