Carnival and Other Christian Festivals: Folk Theology and by Max Harris

By Max Harris

With a riotous mixture of saints and devils, road theater and dancing, and track and fireworks, Christian gala's are the most vigorous and colourful spectacles that ensue in Spain and its former ecu and American possessions. That those folks celebrations, with roots attaining again to medieval instances, stay shiny within the high-tech tradition of the twenty-first century strongly means that in addition they supply an imperative motor vehicle for expressing hopes, fears, and needs that individuals can articulate in no different way.In this booklet, Max Harris explores and develops rules for figuring out the folks theology underlying patronal saints' day gala's, feasts of Corpus Christi, and Carnivals via a sequence of vibrant, first-hand bills of those festivities all through Spain and in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Peru, Trinidad, Bolivia, and Belgium. Paying shut recognition to the symptoms encoded in people performances, he unearths in those gala's a folks theology of social justice that--however obscured via legitimate rhetoric, by way of distracting theories of archaic beginning, or via the performers' personal have to masks their resistance to authority--is usually in articulate and intricate discussion with the ability constructions that encompass it. This discovery sheds very important new gentle at the meanings of non secular gala's celebrated from Belgium to Peru and at the subtle theatrical performances they embrace.

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Extra resources for Carnival and Other Christian Festivals: Folk Theology and Folk Performance (Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture)

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The saint stood to the south of the steps, the moixiganga in the middle. Suddenly, the dragon and the demons exploded into action, hurling fire in all directions, Joan de Serralonga and his gang shot arquebuses in the air, giants whirled, drums beat, dancers jumped, a cascade of white fire poured down from the roof of the church over its facade, the moixiganga formed a mimetic tower, and Felix was carried up the steps into the basilica. The demons and dragons + 17 moixiganga followed in sacred formation.

3 An older tradition was represented by the sixteen men and eight boys who performed an intricate stick dance (Fig. 1). 4 The boys substituted blue sashes and white cotton skirts trimmed with lace. To an outsider, the skirts appear to feminize the boys, but Jaime Martín Coto, the maestro of the dance team, assured me that the boys were initiates into a religious rite and were dressed in the manner of candidates for the priesthood. 5 They are still worn by adult male dancers in both Graus (Huesca) and Peñíscola (Castellón).

There were folk dancers, too, including some whose dance told the story of the siege of Zaragoza by the forces of Napoleon. The guitars imitated the rapid fire of artillery. Shortly before midnight, a small crowd gathered outside the parish church in the nearby Plaza del Salvador to sing the ballad of San Antolín. A statue of the saint, dressed for the occasion in the same red and green sashes and checked bandanna as the town’s stick dancers, smiled on us from the doorway of the church. We sang of a pilgrim who had brought the severed finger of the saint to Sariñena from Pamiers, on the French side of the Pyrenees, where Antolín had been born and martyred.

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