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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018 Highlight Pelota Mixteca exhibit - terrific reception; local players and photographer

A key highlight of 2018 was the December 1st Pelota Mixteca reception with photogapher Leopoldo Pena, curator Paula Mota, local players, family members, many invited guests and the general public.

Michel Stevens, President of The Museum SFV welcomed guests and introduced The Museum SFV and Paula Mota, Curator.


Leopoldo Pena primary photographer provided his insight and creativity into the background of many pieces in this exhibit. He did so in English and Spanish.


Paula Mota, a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at CSUN, spoke, in English and Spanish about the chronology of the exhibit, talked a bit on the equipment.

A few local players, who participate in games in the Hansen Dam area, fielded questions about equipment, playing locally, playing in tournaments and a bit of the history of the game, both in English and Spanish.


Much thanks to Dr. Suzanne Scheld, Chair of the Anthropology department, current Museum board member and several other students that assisted with the build out of the exhibit.

A big thank you to food sponsor Vallarta Markets for their generous donation of delicious food.


If you have not toured this exhibit, please do so as it is scheduled to be at The Museum through the month of January.

Overview of the Pelota Mixteca exhibit

The origins of pelota mixteca are unclear. Some believe references to the game are etched in the 3000 year old walls of Dainzú, a Mixtec archaeological site located in Oaxaca. Others argue the sport was derived from early forms of European tennis that were adopted by the Spanish and imported to Central America several hundreds of years ago. Yet another theory is the sport emerged in Mexico the 1900s.

Pelota Mixteca es un deporte popular en Oaxaca, Mexico, una región asociada con la cultura Mixtecas, una población indígena de Mesoamérica. Pelota Mixteca es también conocida como “Pelota de Hule” (rubber ball) o guante (glove). Este deporte llegó a, el Valle de San Fernando alrededor de 1980 a través de la migración transnacional Mexicana. Hoy en día este deporte se juega en Hansen Dam Recreation Area, un parque público en Lake View, California. Este deporte tiene varias versiones de juego, pero en el Valle de San Fernando se asemeja como un juego de tenis compuesto de 5 jugadores en cada uno de los equipos.

Los orígenes de la Pelota Mixteca son inciertos. Ya que algunos creen que la referencia de juego están situadas en las paredes de Dainzu que tiene aproximadamente 3000 años de antigüedad, es un sitio arqueológico Mixteca situado en Oaxaca. Otros argumentan que el deporte fue derivado de la formas de tenis Europeo, el cual fue adoptado por los Españoles y luego importado a centroamérica hace cientos de años. Además otras teorías destaca que este deporte surgió en México alrededor de 1900.

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