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Festive Devils of the Americas (Paperback)

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The devil is an inhumanly mobile, defiant and nefarious figure, the emblem of evil, harbinger of the damned. However, the festive devil—the devil that dances—turns the most hideous acts into playful transgressions.Festive Devils of the Americas is the first volume to present a transnational and performance-centred approach to this fascinating, feared and revered character of popular fiesta, street festivals and carnivals in the American continent. As produced and performed by indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples in both rural and urban communities, indigent actors and artists, neighbourhood groups and councils, festive devils challenge the principles of colonialism and nation-states reliant on the straight and narrow opposition between good and evil, black and white, us and them.

Each section of this volume opens with regional maps ranging from the Andes, Afro-Atlantic and Caribbean, into Central and North America. However, festive devils defy geographical as well as moral boundaries. From Brazil’s Candomblé to New Mexico’s dance halls, festive devils and their stories sustain and transform ancestral memory, recast historical narratives and present political, social and cultural alternatives in many guises. Within economic, political and religious cross-currents, these paradoxical figures known as jab jabs or vejigantes, Minga or Sayona, among many others, restore multiple voices from what was once maligned. Thus, festive devils¾the most resilient and oppositional characters¾provide the occasion to re-define festivity and the ‘carnivalesque’ not in relationship to that which the festival ethos negates but what it affirms: the spirit of community within the framework of subversion and inversion that is at the heart of the festival world.

The devil is a defiant, nefarious figure, the emblem of evil, and harbinger of the damned. However, the festive devil?the devil that dances?turns the most hideous acts into playful transgressions. Festive Devils of the Americas is the first volume to present a transnational and performance-centered approach to this fascinating, feared, and revered character of fiestas, street festivals, and carnivals in North, Central, and South America. As produced and performed in both rural and urban communities and among neighborhood groups and councils, festive devils challenge the principles of colonialism and nation-states reliant on the straight and narrow opposition between good and evil, black and white, and us and them.

Each section of this volume opens with regional maps ranging from the Andes, Afro-Atlantic, and Caribbean, to Central and North America. However, festive devils defy geographical as well as moral boundaries. From Brazil?s Candomblé to New Mexico?s dance halls, festive devils and their stories sustain and transform ancestral memory, recast historical narratives, and present political, social, and cultural alternatives in many guises. Within economic, political, and religious cross-currents, these paradoxical figures affirm the spirit of community within the framework of subversion and inversion found at the heart of the festival world.
Number of Pages: 404
Genre: Social Science
Sub-Genre: Anthropology / Cultural
Series Title: Enactments
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Language: English
Street Date: December 15, 2015
TCIN: 16398751
UPC: 9780857421791
Item Number (DPCI): 247-33-0998
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$45.00
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