Institutionalization of bullerengue, which is a traditional Afro-Colombian music and dance practice, is a process that emerged in the Colombian Urabá region over the past three decades, and that has radically transformed the ways in which this musical expression was traditionally performed. In the past, the communities administered bullerengue as part of their public celebrations or private festivities. However, since the 1980s, due to a decline in its practice caused by the arrival of new musics to the region, a group of institutions participated in an institutional cultural revival that, adhering to recent national policies of decentralization, took care of its management. The most visible expressions of this institutional framework are the bullerengue festivals, managed by local NGOs, and the local bullerengue schools, which are funded by local governments through casas de la cultura. I argue that, even though institutionalization of bullerengue in the region prevented this musical tradition from disappearing, a group of local cultural workers, regional private investors, and local politicians contextualized this musical practice within a framework of social, political, and economic relations, which many times neglect the needs of bullerengue practitioners to serve private interests. Nonetheless, bullerengue practitioners contest the institutional framework through performance strategies, like street bullerengue practices, which empower them as social group and strengthen solidarity and agency within a regional community of performers. Generally speaking, though, even though practices have revitalized, the support provided by the bullerengue institutions has not empowered this community in the self-management of their cultural traditions and, therefore, their members have constructed a set of proposals and ideas to make the framework fit better with their felt needs. This thesis is an analysis and a critique of such power relationships in the frame of a contemporary Latin American democracy.
|Commitee:||McDowell, John, Tuohy, Sue|
|Department:||Folklore and Ethnomusicology|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||MAI 51/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Cultural anthropology, Social research, Music|
|Keywords:||Bullerengue, Colombia, Community, Folkloric festival, Institutionalization, Traditional music|
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