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Pirekua: a Traditional Song

Pleca de logos Michoacán

Pirekua, word of Purépecha root that means singing, a literary and musical expression, which through its lyrics, resources and symbols express the feelings of its composers, historical events, religion, life and death, social activism, politics, family and love. 

A song that goes beyond generations between families and communities, promoting the culture and the pride of traditions of the Tarasco people of Michoacán de Ocampo.


The pirekua is a song in Purépecha also sung in Spanish accompanied by instruments such as the flute, the chirimia, the ocarina, the requinto and acoustic guitar, and the contrabass, also accompanied with string, mixed or symphony orchestra, or a wind band.

A vocal genre born from European, African, native American beats and pre-Hispanic music. Its origin traces back to the Chichimeca and Uacúsecha prayers, the polytheistic cosmovision and the inspiration provided by nature such as wind, fire, rain, sun, flora and fauna. 


Nowadays, the women's involvement in this Tarascan discipline has grown, making the pirekua not only talk about men's stories, but also about women's stories, creating spaces for them in orchestras, quartets, choirs and solos. Some singer-songwriters who belong to this tradition are nana Estelita, Rocío Próspero and Erandi Cuiriz.

Approximately 30 variations of the pirekua have been observed within the 165 Purépecha communities, one of the many reasons why the tradition was recognized in February 2010 by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as Intangible Cultural Heritage.

To continue harvesting the art of the pirekua, from an early age children are introduced to Purépecha songs to keep nourishing the richness of Michoacán as #ElAlmadeMéxico.