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Definition of Motete

Motete is a word mostly used in Puerto Rico to refer to a person’s objects or things, goods or belongings.

But worldwide it is known as a short musical composition that is used in churches and generally refers to part of the words in the Bible.


Belongings of a person


His things


As it is used in Puerto Rico, it is also known in several Latin American countries, especially in the center of the continent.

It is a word whose origin belongs to the Toltec civilization and is used to define the large basket that the peasants carry on their backs and that are handcrafted with bejuco ribbons that are intertwined.

In a motete, people carry their belongings and that is why the expression is used this way in today’s slang.
But this is not all, the person carrying the motete is carrying a heavy weight and because of the overexertion it can be said that he is not happy, i.e. he is amotetao.

In this sense the word can be used as an adjective and the one who is amotetao is sick, depressed and even sad or discouraged. It is a state of mind that is known as depressed.
The expression can be used to refer to people and animals.


“Tus Motetes” is the name of the song introduced to the world by the well-known composer, musician and reggeton producer Gotay “El Autentiko” in 2020. In a fragment of the song the Puerto Rican expresses “pick up your motets and don’t call me again, no matter what happens I won’t answer you”.