DANZANTES AZTECAS Y PROMOTORAS TRADICIONALES: THE RITUAL PERFORMANCES AND IDENTITY POLITICS OF A MEXICAN AMERICAN CEREMONIAL COMMUNITY

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DANZANTES AZTECAS Y PROMOTORAS TRADICIONALES: THE RITUAL PERFORMANCES AND IDENTITY POLITICS OF A MEXICAN AMERICAN CEREMONIAL COMMUNITY, Is A Well-Researched Topic, It Is To Be Used As A Guide Or Framework For Your Research.

Abstract

This dissertation is an ethnographic study which examined the ritual performances of an interconnected Mexican American and Mexican immigrant danza Azteca and curanderismo ceremonial community located in central and northern New Mexico, and central México. This project also explored if and how these rituals recognize the practitioners’ indigeneity. As a Mexican American and Native scholar and ceremonial participant of this community, I provided an “insider’s” understanding of the epistemologies and ontologies that inform these ceremonies. My positionality and methodology acted as a lens to critically examine danzantes’ and promotoras tradicionales’ claims of indigeneity. Importantly, this work provides a fluid conceptualization of indigeneity that moves beyond stipulations of blood quantum, and ahistorical perceptions of Indigenous identity that do not account for the ways in which peoples of Mexican and Indigenous ancestry have been affected by modernity.

Table of Contents

Preface………………………………………………………………………………….xiv
Notes……………………………………………………………………………………xviii
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………..1
Methodology………………………………………………………………………6
This Ethnography…………………………………………………………………..6
Critical Approach – Ethnography…………………………………………..……..8
Data: An Overview of Primary Texts……………………………………………11
A Decolonial Project……………………………………………………………..13
Mexican Americans’ Indigeneity?……………………………………………………………….15
The Dissertation………………………………………………………………….19
Entry Point……………………………………………………………………….20
Notes……………………………………………………………………………..23
Chapter One: Danza Azteca and Curanderismo, Cultural Expressions of a Ceremonial
Community……………………………………………………………………………….……..29
Introduction………………………………………………………………………29
The Chicano Movement and Ritual Performance………………………………..33
Performance Theory………………………………………………………………35
Danza Azteca and Curanderismo: “Embodied Recuperations” of Indigeneity….36
Danza Azteca on International Worker’s Day………………………………..….36
Performance—a Privileging of Indigeneity Among Working Class Danzantes y Promotoras……………………………………………………………………….43

Dia de las Animas Velacion Altar: An Assertion of Mexican Americans’ and Mexican Immigrants’ Indigeneity…………………………………………………45
Mexican American Studies and Indigenous Studies Scholars’ Conceptualization of Indigenous Ceremony…………………………………………………………47
Conclusion……………………………………………………………………….51
Notes……………………………………………………………………………..53
Chapter Two: “We live in ceremony every day”……………………………………..56
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………..56
“We live in ceremony every day”……………………………………………………………56
Anthropological Theories of Ritual and Ceremony………………………………………58
Performance Theorist’s Interpretation of Ritual………………………………………….60
A Religious Studies Understanding of Ritual…………………………………………….62
The Five Ethics of Indigenous Epistemology, Ontology and Education…………………63
Every day Experiences and Identity Conveyed Through Performance………………….64
Ceremonial Performance as “a way of life”……………………………………………..65
Testimonios of Ceremony, according to an Indigenous Worldview……………………..66
Interview with Paul……………………………………………………………………….67
Interview with Sophia…………………………………………………………………….69
Interview with Pueblo Scholar Penelope…………………………………………………72
Interview with Diné Scholar Leon……………………………………………………….73
Julisa’s Notion of Ceremony…………………………………………………………….74
Mesoamerican Traditional Medicine…………………………………………………….77

Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………….83
Notes……………………………………………………………………………………..85
Chapter Three: Ritual Performance and Political Agency in Chicano and Indigenous Struggles for Social Justice………………………………………………………..89
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………89
Mexican American Ethnographic and Performance Scholarship……………………….95
Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………109
Notes……………………………………………………………………………………111
Chapter Four: Danzantes y Promotoras Tradicionales, Spiritual, Community, Healing, and Teaching Warriors……………………………………………………………..114
Introduction……………………………………………………………………..114
Performance as Expressive Cultural Forms in Everyday Life………………….117
Ritual Performance as Resistance………………………………………………118
Spiritual Warriors……………………………………………………………..…119
Los Pastores: Performance con “mas devocíon”………………………………..122
Gifts are meant to be shared……………………………………….…………….123
Community Warriors………………………………………………….………..125 Performance as Decoloniality…………………………………………………..127
San Isidro y Santa Maria de la Cabeza and Blessing of the Acequias and Fields Ceremonia………………………………………………………………………131
Sophia, the Community Warrior………………………………………………..134
Transcendence through Ceremonia…………………………………………….136
Danzantes y Promotoras, Spiritual and Political Agents of Change………..….136

Healing Warriors………………………………………………………………..139
Ritual Ceremony and Historical Trauma………………………………………..140
Critiques of Historical Trauma…………………………………………………140
Indigenous Insight About Historical Trauma……………………………..…….141
“La danza is meant to protect the medicine”.………………………………………….……….144
Teacher Warriors……………………………………………………………….145
“Decolonizing Healing”: A Warrior Teaching…………………………………146
Conclusion………………………………………………………………………150
Notes……………………………………………………………………………152
Chapter Five: Mexican American Claims of Indigeneity and Criticisms of their Identity……..………………………………………………………………………….157
Introduction………………………………………………………………….…157
Chicano Scholarship on Mexican Americans’ Indigeneity …………………….160
Interculturally Mixed Peoples of Mexican Descent…………….………………163
Genízaros……………………………………………………………………….165
Limited Rights of Mexicans During the American Colonial Era……………….165
The Shared Indigeneity of Mexican Americans and Indigenous Peoples of the Southwest and the Americas…………………………………………………….168
A Native American Scholar’s and an “Indigenous” Woman’s Perception of Indigeneity………………………………………………………………………176

Danzantes’ and Promotoras’ Conceptualization of their Mexican Heritage and Indigenous Identity……………………………………………………………..182
Mexican Americans are not Indigenous: Academic Critics’ Perspectives of Indigeneity ……………………………………………………………………..188
Mi Testimonio as a Mexican American Indígena Ceremonial Practitioner…….192
Mexican Americans’ Claim of Indigeneity……………………………..………196
Arming Oneself Against Accusations of “Appropriation”………………….….197
Conclusion……………………………………………………………………….199
Notes……………………………………………………………………………202
Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………..208 Exit Point……………………………………………………………………….209
Suggestions for Further Research……………………………………………….213
Notes……………………………………………………………………………215
Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………216

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Additional information

Author

Dina K. Barajas

No of Chapters

5

No of Pages

254

Reference

YES

Format

PDF

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