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Dancing between Myth and Reality

By Anita González

Publication Year: 2010

This study of African-based dance in Mexico explores the influence of African people and their cultural productions on Mexican society, showing how dance can embody social histories and relationships.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v

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pp. vii-viii

The publication of Afro-Mexico: Dancing between Myth and Reality comes at an especially important historical moment in the study of peoples of African descent in Latin America, in particular, Mexico. The hemispheric-wide mobilization of social movements for...

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pp. ix-x

I am an African American born in the United States, yet my family bears the name González, the legacy of a Cuban grandfather. As a child, I thought of my surname and wondered, where did my family name come from? Are there blacks in Latin America? Later I learned...

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pp. 1-17

Afro-Mexico: Dancing between Myth and Reality, as the title suggests, is a book about dancing. But more important, it is a book about how dance reflects on social histories and relationships. The photographs and text document how residents of some sectors of...

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1. Framing African Performance in Mexico

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pp. 18-39

Histories of Mexico document complex social negotiations across vast geographic terrains. Nineteenth-century Mexico, for example, included all of the current country as well as wide swaths of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Negotiating human...

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2. Masked Dances: Devils and Beasts of the Costa Chica [Contains Image Plates]

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pp. 40-84

This chapter describes and illustrates three dances commonly performed in the states of Oaxaca and Guerrero: the Devil Dance, the Turtle Dance, and the Toro de Petate, or Straw Bull Dance. Each of these dances is closely linked to Afro-Mexican communities...

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3. Archetypes of Race: Performance Responses to Afro-Mexican Presence

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pp. 85-110

This chapter looks at racial “types”—blackface characters—that are performed by nonblacks. My discussion is closely linked to representations. Representations, whether they are photographic, theatrical, or multimedia, are never realities but emphasize selected features and...

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4. Becoming National: Chilena, Artesa, and Jarocho as Folkloric Dances

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pp. 111-136

This chapter looks at folkloric dance forms that emerged from Afro- Mexican communities and then were absorbed into mainstream ideas about regional performance styles. Even as these folkloric dances become nationalized, elements of their performances reference African...

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pp. 137-140

Afro-Mexico documents African presence in Mexico through performance. I have considered performance as a dialogic, changeable way to express and negotiate black identities. The first chapter highlighted histories that locate Afro-Mexicans within the...


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pp. 141-150


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pp. 151-153


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pp. 155-160


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pp. 161-163

E-ISBN-13: 9780292784772
E-ISBN-10: 0292784775
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292723245
Print-ISBN-10: 0292723245

Page Count: 183
Illustrations: 14 color photos (hardcover edition only), 62 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2010