The Rarámuri Race as a metaphor of cultural resistance


  • Ángel Acuña Delgado University of Granada, Spain
  • Guillermo Acuña Gómez University of Granada, Spain



Race Rarámuri, Cultural resistance, Symbols, Tarahumara, Social fact, Ritual sport


The one who does not last does not survive! Says an old principle rarámuri, ethnic group located in the Saw Tarahumara, inside the Western Mother Saw of the State Chihuahua in Mexico. Immersed in an ecologically hard environment for the survival, the idea is "to live is necessary to be resistant ", and this way to support the lack of water and food provoked by the drought, the intense cold in the winter night or the long voyages for mountain. From hundreds of years, men and women rarámuri, as the custom dictates compete running uninterrupted day and night, for stony and abrupt areas, distances that manage to overcome 200 km. In the present article, after doing some observations on the race of long distance in the history of the cultures, like introduction, and a brief ethnographic review on the group in question, there are described the aspects of this singular race, and we immediately afterwards analyze the principal functions that it fulfils as cultural event and to think about one of its principal values: the resistance. Thus, we will try to answer to such questions as: why do they run? Why are such long distances covered? How is the moderate attitude of the runners explained after win or defeat? What roles does it recover the race in the rarámuri life? What value has the resistance in their lives? How is it managed to develop? How is rarámuris participation assumed in international ultra marathons?


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How to Cite

Acuña Delgado, Ángel, & Acuña Gómez, G. (2009). The Rarámuri Race as a metaphor of cultural resistance. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 4(1), 6–19.



Review Paper