Citro, Silvia y Adriana Cerletti "Continuities and re-elaborations in indigenous music and dances: the case of the Mocoví". Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas Issue 77, Vol 41, Nro 2, pp 271-275. Americas Society, New York.


In this review we analyze some transformations in the circular dances of the Mocoví, one of the first Guaycurú peoples to be colonized and evangelized, by the Jesuits in the 18 century and by the Franciscans in the 19 century. One of the most remarkable characteristics of these expressions is the simultaneity of singing and dance. This has led us to study them as “performing genres” whose efficacy rests in the combination of diverse aesthetic languages. Another distinctive feature is that these performances are a way for young men to seduce women who choose their dancing mates, who will later become sexual partners. Because of the incorporation of these dances into Catholic rituals, the sexual content was gradually abandoned and, in the 20 century, adults and elders started to replace the youth, especially in the context of the feast of St. Rosa, celebrated every year on August 30. The conclusion we highlight that, in spite of the powerful processes of colonization to which the aboriginal peoples of Latin America have been subjected, many of their musical practices persist as a reaffirmation of their identity, while others were re-elaborated with basis on Creole models, as an ambivalent strategy of “colonial mimicry”, a form of difference "that is almost the same, but not quite" (Bhabha, 2002: 122). The article summarizes and revisits topics discussed on a previous essay which received the Premio Latinoamericano de Musicología “Samuel ClaroValdés”.

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