Residents of Tlaxiaco say Yalitza Aparicio, up for best actress at the Oscars, has given indigenous Mexicans renewed sense of pride

A couple of young flautists are practising scales in a small windowless room at Tlaxiaco’s Casa de Cultura. The rest of the town band are rehearsing a competition routine with a troop of young folkloric dancers – including Yalitza Aparicio’s two younger brothers – in the grand courtyard, decorated with murals depicting the town’s pre-Hispanic Mixtec warriors and artists.

Aparicio is nominated for best actress at the Oscars, taking place on Sunday, for her astonishing portrayal of a nanny in Alfonso Cuarón’s acclaimed film Roma. If successful, the 25-year-old Mexican, who worked as teacher before she was discovered almost by accident at a casting call held at the cultural centre, will be the first indigenous winner of the award.

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