Myth, Indigenism, and Chicana/o Literature
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: University of Texas Press
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Chicanas and Chicanos are indigenous to the Americas. But in the United States, Indigenous relationships to land and Indigenous identity are determined by a system of categorization that privileges tribal affiliation and blood quantum. Even if Indigenous descent is recognized, the concepts of tribal identity and genealogy may appear unrelated to Chicana/o culture and history...
Introduction: Myths, Indigenisms, and Conquests
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Chicana/o indigenism draws from a wealth of source material, directly and indirectly, acknowledged and unacknowledged, creating cultural narratives that rely prominently on mythic accounts drawn from anthropology and archaeology. This study is about the complications and paradoxes of Chicana/o literary indigenism, most especially this reliance on the mythic...
Chapter 1: Mexican Myth and Modern Primitivism: D. H. Lawrence’s The Plumed Serpent
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Henry Moore’s British Museum holds as part of its permanent Mexican Gallery Collection a pre-Columbian stone sculpture of a serpent, the heavy figure coiled around itself, flitting tongue frozen on the verge of striking, a gripping representation of both ancient and contemporary Mexico available to Europeans who might not ever travel to the Americas. Archaeological convention argues that pre- Columbian figures of serpents or snakes...
Chapter 2: The Mesoamerican in the Mexican-American Imagination: Chicano Movement Indigenism
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Chicana/o poetics encompasses a range of textual expressions, including fiction, drama, poetry, and political manifestos. The movement period of this literary history is marked by the thematic recurrence of particular iconic images. For example, student and offcampus activist participation in the farmworker unionization movement...
Chapter 3: From La Malinche to Coatlicue: Chicana Indigenist Feminism and Mythic Native Women
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Chicana feminists have used the motifs of indigenist nationalism to advance some of the earliest critiques of relations of power within the movement, eroding the cultural authority of patriarchy to sustain Chicano revolutionary thought. In her groundbreaking essay on Chicana feminism, Norma Alarcón writes that “the reappropriation of ‘the’ native woman on Chicana feminist terms marked one of the first assaults...
Chapter 4: The Contra-mythic in Chicana Literature: Refashioning Indigeneity in Acosta, Cervantes, Gaspar de Alba, and Villanueva
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Clearly, Chicana/o indigenist use of the Mesoamerican mythic has been inventive and productive. As a tool to challenge dominant narratives that positioned U.S. Mexicans as foreign immigrants, as an indictment of state and religious institutions of imperialism, and as a powerful critique of masculinist nationalism and Anglo-American racist patriarchy...
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Chicana/o indigenism emerges in relation to the complex histories of “discovery,” theft, and exhibition that made popular knowledge of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica possible. State and private economic sponsorship of excavation, removal, and preservation of artifacts, and the global circuits through which these objects moved, enabled European and Euro-American pursuit of the pre-history of Mexico...
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Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2008
Series Title: Chicana Matters