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Fiestas in Latin America


Music and dance performances. From the street to the stage. The son and its context ... Incorporated into the July 16th feast of the Virgin del Carmen in Oaxaca during ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Fiestas in Latin America

Fiestas in Latin America
  • World Language Institute
  • Summer 2008

What are fiestas?
Survey local terms and knowledge
  • Religious festivals
  • National holidays
  • Solemn
  • Celebratory
  • Recreational
  • Ritual
  • Processions/parades
  • Competitions
  • Pageants
  • Performances
  • Personal
  • Family
  • Community

Fiestas in Latin America
A diverse landscape
  • Contributions of indigenous and migrant societies
    and individuals
  • Processes of cultural transmission, adaptation,
    differentiation, and refinement
  • Common and distinct historical developments that
    shaped Latin American societies
  • Importance of public celebratory culture to
    contemporary liferitual, politics, and power

Fiestas in Latin America
A personal journey
  • Building linguistic and artistic competence
  • Seeking direct experiences (local/foreign)
  • Expanding knowledge (breath/depth)
  • Identifying community resources (tradition
  • Building relationships with local organizations
    and practitioners

El Cristo negro de Esquipulas (January 13-15)
  • Origins of devotions date back to 16th century
    Guatemala, expanded to other countries in Central
    America, Panama, Mexico, Peru, and the U.S.
  • Adopted by mulatto militias in Nicoya Peninsula
    of Costa Rica
  • Legendary vs. historical origins
  • Institutionalized in cofradía or cargo system
  • Evolvingformal/stylistic elements that are
    fixed/emergent and traditional/creative

Religious devotions
Patterns of spiritual and social exchange
promesa, demanda and ofrenda
Song and its context
Alabado al Santo Cristo de Esquipulas (ca. 1940)
  • Todos los que están en tu templo,
  • Contemplan en vos, Señor
  • Y con contrición verdadera
  • Muera yo por vuestro amor.
  • ..
  • Santo Cristo de Esquipulas
  • Pues adiós, que ya me voy
  • Mi alma queda en tu costado,
  • Con ese consuelo voy.

Bella imagen milagrosa De Esquipulas redentor Tan
negra y oscurecida Siendo más linda que el
sol. A los ángeles en el cielo Al verte les da
temor Porque alumbras todo el orbe Con solo tu
resplandor. El día quince de enero Tu iglesia
con gran fervor Celebra tu santo nombre Como
amante y salvador.
Velas, processions, and the Mass
Linking communities across space
Los Indios Promesanos de Santa Cruz
(Dance performed at the Church atrium)
  • Muy alegres bailan los viejos
  • Frente al santo que es su patrón
  • Bailan, bailan con alegría
  • Frente al Santo Cristo Esquipulas
  • Con donaire bailan esa danza
  • Mueven la cintura con ritmo y con gracia.
  • Es su baile ofrenda de amor,
  • Su promesa que un día ofreció.

Promesanos de Esquipulas Ya llegó el Negrito de
Arado En su nicho de encaje dorado Esquipulas
viene cansado. Vamos a pedirle por nuestras
cosechas Vamos a bailarle al Negrito
Esquipulas Promesanos bailad junto a él Este
baile de la redención. Bailan los promesanos
con sus bastones y guacalitos Y sombreros
adornados con flores de amapola. Es su velo
secreto de amor.
Parades and crafts
  • Giving shape to beliefs and attitudes

Horseback riding and bullfighting
  • Displaying personal styles, regional lifestyles,
  • and social values

Music and dance performances
  • From the street to the stage

The son and its context
Expanding spheres of meaning through performance
and analysis
  • Por eso cuando la albarda
  • Anuncia que vas a pasear
  • Tu relincho es de alegria
  • Y te pones a bailar.
  • Caballito nicoyano
  • Hoy tenemos que pasear
  • A la morena más linda
  • De esta tierra sin igual.
  • De esta tierra nicoyana
  • Donde todo es fraternal.

Caballito, caballito Caballito nicoyano Que sabes
de mi ternura De mis amores, hermano. Con tu
relincho pampero, Con tu paso sin igual Caballito
nicoyano Sos romance musical. En noches de luna
llena Cuando estas en el corral Se te nota
entristecido Y dan ganas de llorar.
Local Fiestas in New Brunswick
  • Mexicans build a newcomer community
  • Mexican presence in NB dates back to the 1970s.
  • Mexican immigrants have established a thriving
    business sector on French Street.
  • In 2000, Mexicans reached 7,364 or 38 of the
    Latino population in New Brunswick (18,947), one
    of the largest concentrations of Mexicans in the
  • Local residents originate from Oaxaca, Puebla,
    and more recently Guerrero.

Local Fiestas in New Brunswick
  • Community Organizations

LAZOS AMERICA UNIDA, (732) 421-7490 Teresa Vivar,
President Develops participatory, community-based
projects in collaboration with Rutgers and other
institutions. Main programs Marigold Project and
4H Program (RU Agricultural Extension Program),
MOVEN (UMDNJ/RU School of Nursing), Día de los
Muertos (November 2) MEXICAN AMERICAN
ORGANIZATION, (732) 342-7352 Estanislao Sanchez,
President Promotes the culture of Mexico through
workshops in dance, theater, visual arts and
language, and promotes activities that benefit
families, especially children. Organizes
Folkloric Dance Group (directed by Flor Michaca)
that offers classes in Mexican fold dance,
specifically Guelaguetza dances from the state of
Oaxaca. Main events Guelaguetza (July 16) and
Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
El Día de los Muertos
  • Preserving agricultural knowledge

Top Flor de cempazuchil (Marigold) Right NB
resident harvesting flowers at RU Cook Campus
Agricultural Extension Program
El Día de los Muertos
  • Reshaping the hand-made object

Left Locally hand-made crafts and sweets. Right
Lazos America Unida community organizers at the
NB Free Public Library
El Día de los Muertos
  • Building altars to honor and remember
  • family members

Families use cempazuchil, food, religious icons,
and photos to create memorials for their loved
El Día de los Muertos
  • Reclaiming cultural identities

Mexican children performing traditional Aztec
dances at the New Brunswick Free Public Library
Linking ancient rituals and contemporary cultural
  • Zapotec word meaning offering, describes
    pre-Columbian propitiatory two-week celebration
    in honor of the Zapotec goddess of tender corn,
  • Incorporated into the July 16th feast of the
    Virgin del Carmen in Oaxaca during the early 16th
  • Since 1932 incorporated folk dance performances
    from the seven regions of the State of Oaxaca,
    showcasing regional dresses and offerings
  • Local gifts and fruit are shared with audience,
    symbolizing reciprocity

Cinco de Mayo
  • Building social and economic networks

Organizers draw local residents and vendors to
celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Joyce Kilmer Park in
New Brunswick, May 2006.
Cinco de Mayo
  • Cultural performances and nationalistic pride

Ballet Folklórico de Princeton performs regional
dances from Mexico for Cinco de Mayo at Joyce
Kilmer Park in New Brunswick, May 2006.
Center for Latino Arts and Culture
  • The Center for Latino Arts and Culture's (CLAC)
    mission is to research, document, interpret and
    promote Latino/a, Hispanic, Caribbean, and Latin
    American arts and culture. Through it's
    programming and publications, CLAC seeks to
    advance the appreciation and understanding of
    Latino/a artistic production, scholarship, and
    cultural traditions.
  • For more information, contact
  • Carlos Fernandez, Ph.D
  • Director
  • Center for Latino Arts and Culture
  • 122 College Avenue
  • New Brunswick, NJ 08901
  • (732) 932-1263
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