Celebrating Latino Folklore

An Encyclopedia of Cultural Traditions

by María Herrera-Sobek, Editor


Folklore is an important affirmation of the cultural identity of the Latino people—one they are proud to pass on to each new generation and share with the rest of the world. Latino folklore encompasses a great variety of genres, such as folk narrative, song, dance, speech, food, clothing, children's games, theater, riddles, folk belief, folk medicine, and folk religion.

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Cover image for Celebrating Latino Folklore

July 2012


Pages 1329
Volumes 3
Size 7x10
Topics Geography and World Cultures/Folklore

Latino folklore comprises a kaleidoscope of cultural traditions. This compelling three-volume work showcases its richness, complexity, and beauty.

Latino folklore is a fun and fascinating subject to many Americans, regardless of ethnicity. Interest in—and celebration of—Latin traditions such as Día de los Muertos in the United States is becoming more common outside of Latino populations. Celebrating Latino Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Cultural Traditions provides a broad and comprehensive collection of descriptive information regarding all the genres of Latino folklore in the United States, covering the traditions of Americans who trace their ancestry to Mexico, Spain, or Latin America.

The encyclopedia surveys all manner of topics and subject matter related to Latino folklore, covering the oral traditions and cultural heritage of Latin Americans from riddles and dance to food and clothing. It covers the folklore of 21 Latin American countries as these traditions have been transmitted to the United States, documenting how cultures interweave to enrich each other and create a unique tapestry within the melting pot of the United States.


  • 300 A–Z entries that describe the myriad topics of Latino folklore
  • Contributions from distinguished scholars from across the United States
  • Photographs, paintings, and documents that supplement and enhance the essays
  • A short bibliography of suggested readings accompanies each essay


  • Spotlights the folklore of the Latin American nations and their influence on U.S. Latino folklore
  • Demonstrates the tremendous variety and beauty of Latino folklore
  • Presents insights into the nature and importance of folklore for the Latino people
  • Provides a landmark study of Latino folklore that promotes understanding and insight into an important aspect of Latino culture
Author Info

María Herrera-Sobek, PhD, is associate vice chancellor for diversity, equity, and academic policy and professor of Chicana/o studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Herrera-Sobek is the author of The Mexican Corrido: A Feminist Analysis and Chicano Folklore: A Handbook.



"The encyclopedia is groundbreaking, not because it is the first attempt to survey Latino folklore, but because it is so comprehensive. The editor, a highly regarded folklorist, however, warns that it is not an exhaustive study or a collection of folkloric texts. It stands proudly as one of the strongest reference works in multicultural America."—ARBA

"This three-volume collection could have been dubbed 'Everything You Wanted to Know about Latino Culture But Didn’t Even Realize You Should Ask.' . . . Recommended for academic libraries with multicultural liberal arts majors, high school
libraries, and large public libraries."—Booklist

"A good introduction, which defines the term Latino; a very complete bibliography; and an appendix of medicinal plants round out the set, making this a good starting point for high school or undergraduate research. Summing up: recommended."—Choice

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