The Baltic Nations
|The 1998 Smithsonian Folklife Festival|
GRANDE/ RÍO BRAVO BASIN
Sights and Sounds:
The Río Grande and its many tributaries bring water and life to the Río Grande/Río Bravo Basin, which is bounded by the San Juan Mountains in the United States and the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico. The river's many names (Río Bravo, Río Grande del Norte, the Wild River, Río de las Palmas, the Rio Grand) hint at the diversity of terrains and cultures this powerwul river traverses in its nearly 2,000 mile length. This is an area greatly defined and continually influenced by its many different geographic environment and cultural regions. From the river's headwaters in Colorado to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico, its basin is a complex cultural, ecological, and political landscape. On the Mexico-Texas border, it is a river that marks a boundary as well as provides a natural resource shared by two countries and their communities, helping them to thrive for over 150 years.
The Río Grande/Río Bravo basin is a natural wonder whose power and beauty we appreciate the more we get to know it. This two-year festival program explores how local cultures contribute to a sustainable river-basin environment and how, in turn, the river has shaped the cultural heritage and historical experiences of the basin people.