Shotguns and Accordions: the 1970s marijuana music of Colombia

Working on the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition fueled my curiosity about indigenous music of all regions. I love that there's an entire world of music (literally) — sound, story, and traditions — that's almost entirely unfamiliar to me. For example, I'm excited to watch this 1983 documentary, "Shotguns and Accordions: Music of the Marijuana Growing Regions of Colombia." It explores the frenzied Vallenato party music that emerged from north-east Colombia during the cannabis boom of the 1970s. The Latin Grammy Awards created a combination category for Vallenato and the similar Cumbia music in 2006. And in 2015, UNESCO added Vallenato to its "List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding." The following is from historian Lina Britto's essay in the Hispanic American Historical Review, titled "Hurricane Winds: Vallenato Music and Marijuana Traffic in Colombia's First Illegal Drugs Boom":

…The country's first class of illegal drugs merchants helped shape a key element of modern Colombian nationalism by promoting vallenato music on the local stage and hastening its conquest of the national market and imaginary in the 1970s. Marijuana intermediaries-popularly known as marimberos-sprang into action from the most marginalized rural and urban sectors of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and La Guajira region. Soon they constituted a new entrepreneurial class whose profile as successful merchants was articulated as a regional masculine identity found in popular expressions such as vallenato music. That process helped marimberos to open space for themselves in regional society and to turn vallenato into a supreme expression of Colombian popular culture.

(via r/ObscureMedia)