BACKGROUND History of the Region and El Rito | Persons in the Film | Rural Weddings | Weddings in Wealthy Families | Suggested Reading
Cipriano Vigil of El Rito is a traditional musician who grew up in the ranching and farming community of Chamisal in the Sangre de Cristo mountains. He also holds graduate degrees in Ethnomusicology and Music. For many years he has taught at Northern New Mexico Community College. In the 1970s he became interested in the nueva canción, which links folk and more contemporary music as a voice of the social conscience of the hemisphere, and he has composed many songs. Some were featured in Robert Redford’s 1988 film The Milagro Beanfield War. Cipriano Vigil and his family have performed widely both in New Mexico and in more distant venues such the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington. In 1994 he received the Governor’s Award in New Mexico, and in 2000 the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities designated him a “Living Treasure.”
Fr. Jerome Martínez y Alire
Fr. Martínez first felt called to the priesthood at the age of 12 during the procession of La Conquistadora in Santa Fe. When the film was made, he was serving as Rector of the Church of San Juan Nepomuceno in El Rito. In the film he counsels the bride and groom, performs the wedding ceremony, and in interviews discusses Hispanic marriage practices in the region. He is now the Very Reverend Monsignor Martínez y Alire, Rector of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe. Heir to a family heritage that blends Indian and Spanish, he “presides over Masses that welcome native New Mexicans, Anglos, American Indians, recent Latino immigrants, the faithful from all races and many backgrounds.”
The novia whose wedding in El Rito the film records.
The novio who marries Cecilia Martínez in the film.
Sr. José Rómulo Martínez
The grandfather of the bride Cecilia Martínez. In interviews he describes both early and contemporary marriage customs in the town of El Rito.
Sra. Presciliana Ortega
A resident of El Rito, she describes her own engagement and wedding years earlier and shows wedding gifts she received from her own novio.
The singer who performs the entriega for the wedding festivities of Cecilia Martínez and William Romero.
Los Rancheros del Norte
The norteńo band that plays for the wedding festivities in the film.
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