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Photo of a Mexican family in Omaha, Nebraska, 1922
This old photograph is part of Mexican Americans' history in Nebraska. Here, a visiting nurse poses with Mexican children in 1922.

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A Celebration of Nebraska Mexican Heritage
A Local Legacy

What traditions does your family have that you'd want to pass along to others? It could be a recipe for a dish you really like to eat, or an activity that you do every year with your relatives.

Between 1900 and 1930, thousands of Mexicans arrived in Midwestern states such as Nebraska. Many came to find jobs in the United States and seek a better life. During the 1990s, the Nebraska State Historical Society started the Mexican American Traditions in Nebraska project to help collect and preserve the history of Mexican Americans in the state. As part of the project, Mexican American volunteers interviewed traditional artists, musicians, and older community members about their history, culture, and traditions.

One example was a woman from Scottsbluff, Nebraska, who told how her father, who was ill and unable to get out of bed, was still able to teach her traditional dances. Her father had a vertical board placed against his feet, and he "sounded out" the steps. His daughter would repeat the steps until they sounded right. Once she learned the dances, her father asked her to promise to teach others. She formed a dance group and she made dresses in the style of her father's birthplace in Mexico. Now many people are able to share in this tradition.

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