Teodoro Vidal
Folklorist, historian, collector
Born: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Teodoro Vidal has dedicated a lifetime to the investigation and study of Puerto Rico's traditional culture. He views his native land's richness, antiquity, and distinctive traits as a true reflection of its national identity.

“My parents always insisted on honesty in every aspect of life and that we love our homeland and everything it stands for.”

As a young man, Vidal was an aide to Puerto Rico 's first elected governor, Luis Muñoz Marín, and a member of the founding board of directors of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña. For nearly five decades, his field investigations throughout the island to gather information on traditional life have been complemented by archive and library research in Puerto Rico, Spain, and the United States. Among his principal fields of interest are carnival festivities, ex-votos (votive offerings), witchcraft, folk medicine, colonial artists, and santos (devotional wood carvings of saints and the Virgin Mary). Vidal has shared his findings through lectures, articles, and 10 books.

“I view this work as an expression of my deep pride in the cultural values of the people of Puerto Rico.”


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Teodoro Vidal, folklorist, historian, collector. Photograph by Héctor Méndez-Caratini, taken at the Vidal residence, San Juan , Puerto Rico

Teodoro Vidal, folklorist, historian, collector. Photograph by Héctor Méndez-Caratini, taken at the Vidal residence, San Juan, Puerto Rico

During his field investigations, Vidal assembled and documented a collection of more than 6,000 pieces of special artistic and ethnographic significance. In 1997, he donated parts of his collection to the Smithsonian Institution and the Fundación Luis Muñoz Marín in Puerto Rico. The collection, as a whole, is regarded as an excellent source for the study of Puerto Rico's material culture.

“Querer es poder. Where there's a will, there's a way.”

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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