"La India Maria," often accompanied by her faithful donkey "Filemon," sometimes illustrated the journey from her native village to the big city and the inevitable comic situations that followed.
Born in Puebla, Mexico in 1940, Velasco often drew on her upbringing for her iconic "India Maria" persona, one perennially dressed in colorful blouses and skits with her hair in braids. She portrayed a stereotypical indigenous Mexican woman who comically rain into big city problems. The actual character came after playing "Petra" in lesser known movies "Los Derechos de los Hijos" and "México de Mis Recuerdos."
Velasco appeared in approximately 23 films and three television series. Nearly all of the movies came at the height of her popularity, between 1974 and 1988. Her last appearance was in the slapstick adventure-comedy "La Hija del Montezuma" which saw India Maria save Mexico from destruction. It marked Velasco's return to the big screen after a 15-year absence.
Velasco's "La India Maria," which exaggerated stereotypes about Mexico's indigenous people, became one of the most recognizable characters in Mexican film, dressed in colorful blouses and full skirts with her hair in braids.