The maroma in southern Mexico is an artistic performance that features acrobats as well as elements of theater, poetry, and music commonly performed by clown poets. The maroma's form and content is drawn from a mixture of medieval European street performances, pre-Hispanic indigenous acrobatic arts, and modern circus features. It is typically performed as entertainment in the context of the patronal saint fiesta, annual popular Catholic events that serve as significant spaces that furnish cultural elements for identity construction. The maroma was very popular in the capital of New Spain throughout the colonial period (1519-1822) but with the rise of the European modern circus was either incorporated or displaced. In the countryside, however, the maroma appears to have continued for a longer period of time. Currently, it is practiced among several ethnic groups, among them the Mixtecs in the Mixteca--a region that covers parts of the states Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Puebla. In the last decade in the Mixteca, maroma groups and state cultural institutions have worked collectively to "revive" the maroma as the practice has been declining since the mid-to-late 20th century. This thesis is a preliminary incursion into the maroma as currently practiced in the Mixteca Baja. I argue that due to the effects of transnationalism and because the maroma has been present at patronal saint fiestas for a long time, significant spaces that furnish cultural elements for identity construction and negotiation, the maroma has become a symbol of a "pan-Mixtec" identity, an identity that unites all Mixtecs regardless of their specific town or region. Drawing from second-hand sources and fieldwork conducted in the towns of Huajuapan de León, La Trinidad Huaxtepec, San Juan Yolotepec, Santa María Acaquizapan, and Santa Rosa Caxtlahuaca, this thesis introduces the practices of maromeros and the work of state cultural institutions to represent a slice of the maroma revival in the region. Moreover, it strives to contribute to the maromero revival by providing information on the maroma in historical context, current performance and performers, and the revivalist activities the regional state cultural institution has taken thus far.
|Advisor:||McDowell, John H.|
|Commitee:||Jackson, Jason B., Leon, Javier|
|Department:||Folklore and Ethnomusicology|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||MAI 52/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Folklore, Latin American Studies, Performing Arts|
|Keywords:||Circus, Mexico, Mixtec, Revival|
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