Afro-Mexico: Dancing between Myth and Reality by Anita González

By Anita González

Whereas Africans and their descendants have lived in Mexico for hundreds of years, many Afro-Mexicans don't reflect on themselves to be both black or African. for nearly a century, Mexico has promoted an incredible of its electorate as having a mixture of indigenous and ecu ancestry. This obscures the presence of African, Asian, and different populations that experience contributed to the expansion of the kingdom. even though, functionality studies—of dance, tune, and theatrical events—reveal the impression of African humans and their cultural productions on Mexican society.

In this paintings, Anita González articulates African ethnicity and artistry in the broader landscape of Mexican tradition via that includes dance occasions which are played both via Afro-Mexicans or through different ethnic Mexican teams approximately Afro-Mexicans. She illustrates how dance displays upon social histories and relationships and records how citizens of a few sectors of Mexico build their histories via functionality. competition dances and, occasionally, expert staged dances aspect to a continuous negotiation between local American, Spanish, African, and different ethnic identities in the evolving kingdom of Mexico. those performances embrace the cellular histories of ethnic encounters simply because every one dance incorporates a spectrum of characters established upon neighborhood occasions and old stories.

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Extra info for Afro-Mexico: Dancing between Myth and Reality

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The performer is capable of reenacting the motions and actions of the dance without metaphysical transformation. However, in a ceremonial setting the performer may be required to undergo hardships of extreme heat or long dance hours. Devil dance ceremonies, for instance, can extend for several days, with dancers performing on hot dirt or cobblestones. The performer may need to transform his state of being to overcome the adversities of the dance ceremony settings. Metaphysical transformation, with its spiritual components, may ease the physical demands of rigorous dance performance.

Artistic creations like Memín replicated popular beliefs about “real” black attributes. By the time the controversial stamp was released, the negrito was so familiar that most Mexicans could not understand the offense that North Americans felt. Mexicans pointed to similar racist images in the United States (Speedy González or Aunt Jemima) to justify their own cultural blindness. For Mexicans, the black Cuban Memín Pinguín was both naturalized and nationalized. The controversy surrounding the Memín Pinguín stamp underscores how important performance and representation is in constructing | 36 | a fro -me x ico Afro-Mexican identities.

33 In particular, Spaniards used blacks to control the natives. When the Spaniards arrived in the New World they were already familiar with using African labor. The wars against the Moors had brought many African people into Spanish territories. Some of these Africans were familiar with horses and knew the Spanish language. It was natural for them to be assigned the task of overseeing indigenous workers. Stern writes that “they [blacks and Indians] were either neutral towards each other or they joined together in mutual opposition against European control.

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