Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Devotional Dances in Religious Feasts in Post-Indigenous Central Mexico and the Horcasitas Papers

March 9th, 2016
3:00 - 4:30 PM

Seminar Room, The Latin American Library
4th Floor, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library

David Robichaux Haydel, the Richard E. Greenleaf Fellow at the Latin American Library will present a work-in-progress talk entitled “Devotional Dances in Religious Feasts in Post-Indigenous Central Mexico and the Horcasitas Papers.” The talk will be in English and a brief reception will follow.

The presentation is based on the dances performed in the celebration of religious feasts filmed since 2011 by the author and his students, mainly in the Texcoco region east of Mexico City. Some video clips will be shown. Among the topics covered are the religious and organizational aspects of the dances and the use of specific elements such as stuffed animals, whips, and female and black impersonators found in other areas of Mesoamerica. A portion of the talk will be specifically devoted to the papers of the Mexican scholar Fernando Horcasitas (1924-1980), which are held at the Latin American Library. This is a rich but untapped source for comparative Mesoamerican ethnology and other area topics. The field notes with ethnographic descriptions of some of the dances in the region and elsewhere, including the unpublished Nahuatl text of a dance drama in one of the villages where I have conducted research, provide an invaluable resource for ethnographic field work. In fact, this Nahautl version is the only surviving copy of the original text of a dance no longer performed.

David Robichaux Haydel holds a doctor‘€™s degree in Ethnology from the University of Paris-Ouest (Nanterre-Paris X) and is emeritus professor in the Graduate Program in Social Anthropology at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, where he has taught since 1977. He has edited volumes and published numerous articles and book chapters on the family. His Mesoamerican family system concept has become an obliged reference in family and kinship studies in this cultural area. He has carried out extensive field research in Tlaxcala and the Texcoco region in central Mexico. He is currently engaged in ethnographic research on the religious and organizational aspects of dances in the latter region.

This event is made possible by the Richard E. Greenleaf Endowment at The Latin American Library.

Mexico + People
Dawn Wesson
Associate Professor - Public Health & Tropical Medicine