China Poblana Maraca
Make this maraca and learn about some traditional Mexican culture!

China Poblana Maraca

Jarabe Tapatío

Jarabe Tapatío, also known as the Mexican Hat Dance, is one of the most popular dances in Mexico.  The dance originated in Guadalajara, Jalisco, and is accompanied by a mariachi band. The music was composed by Jesus Gonzalez Rubio in 1924.  The dance represents a courtship between a man and a woman, and starts with the woman refusing the man’s advances. By the end of the dance, the woman takes the man’s sombrero and places it over their face, making the assumption they are kissing.  The dance was originally forbidden due to its sexual innuendos, but is now widespread and considered important to Mexican culture and heritage. The women wear a China Poblana style of dress, and the men wear a charro, Mexican equestrian, outfit.

China Poblana

Traditionally, a China Poblana is a dress made up of an embroidered white blouse and colorful skirt made of castor.  It is believed the style came from a slave that was brought to Puebla. She was from India and was brought as a slave to the Philippines and then to Mexico. She was sold to a family and her name was changed to Catarina de San Juan. People began to take notice of her style of dress, that contained both Indian and Mexican influences.  It soon became popular and instilled in the national culture.

How to do:


  • 2 Plastic spoons

  • Tape

  • Dried rice or beans

  • Plastic egg

  • Tissue paper

  • Pipe cleaners

  • Glue

  • Scissors

  • Marker

  1.  Add a small amount of dried rice or beans to a plastic egg.

  2. Close the egg and place it in between 2 plastic spoons.  Tape the egg together. The spoons will be facing each other.

  3. Use decorating supplies to make a China Poblana dress.

Watch the dance performed!

Book Recommendation

Cinco de Mayo by Emma Carlson Berne is a book written in song form that tells how and why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated.


Get updates on what’s happening here at RAL.

Curriculum Packets

Find the perfect story and the activities to match.