Pancho Villa Candle

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted: 9/25/2009

Pancho Villa is one of the most recognizable leaders of the Mexico Revolution. This civil war, which lasted from 1910-1921, was fought to curb U.S. corporate interests and to redistribute agricultural lands, especially for indigenous communities. It was a social revolution that reasserted popular culture and the value of "Mexican-ness." It was also a prolonged, violent conflict that spread death and hunger throughout Mexico, spurring migrants north, mostly into El Paso, Los Angeles, and other historically Mexican U.S. cities. With them came ideas, images, and language for organizing laborers and the rural poor. 

These ideas and images percolated in the popular culture of Mexican Americans and reappear in the art and activism of Chicanos in the 1960s and 1970s. On the back of this candle depicting Villa are prayers written in English and Spanish asking him to grant the petitioner some of the insight and prowess that enshrined this bandit, social revolutionary, and media star in the mythology of modern Mexico.

Use this Investigation Sheet to guide students through describing the object and analyzing its meaning.