Waila Festival in Tucson AZ

Photo by Scott Baglione, for "Annual Waila Festival," an Arizona Local Legacies project

Photo by Scott Baglione, for "Annual Waila Festival," an Arizona Local Legacies project

 If you’re looking for a fun and free historic event in Arizona, plan a May 1 trip to Tucson for the annual Waila Festival. A celebration of the Waila music of the native Tohono O’odham people , it is held at Beardown Field on the campus of the University of Arizona. Waila is a derivation of “baile” the Spanish word for dance.  It is also referred to as “chicken scratch.”  A mixture of Mexican norteno songs and German polka, Waila is played primarily with accordion. 

Nor do you have to dance to have a good time at the Tucson Waila Festival.  You can sample native foods such cholla buds and tepary beans, or frybread, with powdered sugar or honey or powdered sugar, or take part in young Waila musician workshops. You can visit the O’odham artisans displays of traditional art such as baskets made of fiber, wire, and horsehair; pottery, clothing and carvings. Waila Festival 2009 will be its 21st year in Tucson.

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Published in: on March 1, 2009 at 8:12 am  Comments (2)  

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