Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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List of Photos and Illustrations

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pp. viii-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

To the Congo community of Portobelo, Panama: Les agradezco por abrir sus hogares y sus vidas a mí. Ustedes han sido generosos sin medida. Son los mejores colaboradoes, maestros, y amigos que alguien pudiera desear. Somos del uno al otro. Quiero ofrecer un agradecimiento especial a los artistas actuales...

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Prologue: Playing (with the) Devil

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pp. 1-4

I met the Devil dressed in white on his way home from mass in Portobelo, Panama. Celedonio Molinar Ávila (1916–2005) was the most renowned Major Devil in an Afro-Latin Carnival tradition whose practitioners call themselves and their cultural performance “Congo.” An active member of the Catholic...

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Introduction: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

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pp. 5-27

In May 2001, during my second trip to Portobelo, Panama,¹ I stood on the balcony above Taller Portobelo, a workshop and gallery run by visual artists who participate in a local Carnival performance tradition called “Congo,” and witnessed my first local El Día de la Etnia Negra celebration. Instituted into...

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1. "Una Raza, Dox Etnias": The Politics of Be(com)ing "Afropanameno"

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pp. 28-55

On Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27, 2006, I witnessed the inauguration of the first Festival Afropanameño in the Panama City convention center. Supported by the Office of the First Lady, the Panamanian Institute of Tourism, and the Special Commission on Black Ethnicity, the event included...

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2. Christ, the Devil, and the Terrain of Blackness

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pp. 56-107

There is an everyday magical quality about experiencing contemporary Portobelo for the first time. It is a thriving contemporary town growing between the carcasses of two colonial forts, a community of colorful cinderblock houses planted in the middle of a bayside rain forest. It is a colonial church with a...

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3. Baptizing the Devil: Circum-Local Transmission and Translation of Culture

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pp. 108-135

As discussed in chapter 2, the contemporary Congo “game” is a parodic bout between the characters of Congos/self-liberated Blacks and Devils/Spanish enslavers. In general discourse, the Congo “game,” “tradition,” and “drama” implicate or directly involve the Devil character. In practice, Congos and...

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4. "¡Los gringos vienen!" / "The gringos are coming!": Race, Gender, and Tourism

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pp. 136-155

It is the Saturday night before Ash Wednesday, and we are leaning, body to body, on the walls of the palenque, a seven-hundred-fifty-square-foot temporary space with a thatch roof supported by wooden beams. A three-foot-high railing connects the beams with two catercorner entryways. More thatch has...

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5. Dancing with the Devil at the Crossroads: Performance Ethnography and Staging Thresholds of Difference

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pp. 156-192

In the winter of 2001, I staged my first work of critical/performance ethnography based on my initial research with the Congo community of Portobelo, Panama. Having read dissertations by Ronald Smith (1976) and Patricia Drolet (1980), shared email and telephone conversations with the scholar-art...

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Epilogue: Dialogical Performance, Critical Ethnography, and the "Digital Present"

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pp. 193-200

In February 2013 Carlos Chavarría, Major Devil in the Congo tradition and mayor of Portobelo, signed a decree to suspend Carnival in the municipality, which includes the towns of Puerto Lindo, Isla Grande, Maria Chiquita, Cacique, and Portobelo. He made the decision to do so after consulting with...

Notes

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pp. 201-211

References

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pp. 212-226

Index

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pp. 227-240

Other Titles in the Series

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p. 241

Back Cover

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