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The Matachines Dance: Ritual Symbolism and Interethnic Relations in the…
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0826316786, Paperback)The Matachines dance—"the beautiful dance of subjugation," as Sylvia Rodríguez calls it—derives from a genre of medieval European folk dramas symbolizing conflict between Christians and Moors. Spaniards brought it to the Americas as a vehicle for Christianizing the Indians. In this book, Rodríguez explores the colorful, complex, and often enigmatic Matachines dance as it is performed today by Pueblo Indians and Hispanos in New Mexico.
Previous studies of the Matachines dance dealt mainly with its origins, distribution, and descriptive details. Rodríguez's work instead focuses on the larger sociocultural, ecological, historical, and political-economic setting within which each community's performance is organized. She analyzes observed behavior, incorporates native explanation, and interprets the dance's symbols in attempting to discover what the dance means to those who perform it and what its performance reveals about the people who do it.
For both Indians and Hispanos in New Mexico, the dance is not merely an archaic survival but an ongoing way of coping with and commenting on the history of ethnic domination as it continues to unfold in the upper Río Grande valley.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:05 -0400)
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