Creating Our Own: Folklore, Performance, and Identity in Cuzco, Peru

9780822341529: Creating Our Own: Folklore, Performance, and Identity in Cuzco, Peru

"This innovative, impassioned book explores music and dance in the heartland of the Andes. Zoila S. Mendoza conveys the power and beauty of Cuzco's Andean culture, and yet, like some nimble village pan-pipe player, shows the complexities, contradictions, and struggle over that elusive, marketable commodity we call 'folklore.' Her remarkable study allows us to see the Andes and the matter of tradition and heritage in new ways." Orin Starn, coeditor of The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics "Revivals of local musical traditions are sometimes described as the creations of relatively wealthy groups and government policymakers. Zoila S. Mendoza's fascinating analysis of the roles of local actors in shaping folklore movements in Peru is highly relevant for studies in the rest of Latin America, the United States, and elsewhere." Anthony Seeger, author of Why Suya Sing: A Musical Anthropology of an Amazonian People "The book provides a socio-historical analysis of local artists, intellectuals, and institutions that contribute to the creation of the cuzqueno folklore and the negotiation of identity through artistic representations. It further touches upon the importance of social relations and economic interests, from the recovery of Machu Picchu to turning it into a symbol of magic and universal heritage across the world." - Doreen Montag, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Vom Verlag:

In Creating Our Own, anthropologist Zoila S. Mendoza explores the early-twentieth-century development of the "folkloric arts" - particularly music, dance, and drama - in Cuzco, Peru, revealing the central role these expressive practices played in shaping ethnic and regional identities. Mendoza argues that the folkloric productions that emerged in Cuzco in the early twentieth century were integral to, rather than only a reflection of, the social and political processes that led to the development of the indigenismo movement. By demonstrating how Cuzco's folklore emerged from complex interactions between artists and intellectuals of different social classes, she challenges ideas of indigenismo as a project of the elites. Mendoza draws on early-twentieth-century newspapers and other archival documents as well as interviews with key artistic and intellectual figures or their descendants. She offers vivid descriptions of the Peruvian Mission of Incaic Art, a tour undertaken by a group of artists from Cuzco, at their own expense, to represent Peru to Bolivia, Argentina, and Uruguay in 1923-24, as well as of the 1920s origins of the Qosqo Center of Native Art, the first cultural institution dedicated to regional and national folkloric art. She highlights other landmarks, including both The Charango Hour, a radio show that contributed to the broad acceptance of rural Andean music from its debut in 1937, and the rise, in that same year, of another major cultural institution, the American Art Institute of Cuzco. Throughout, she emphasizes the intricate local, regional, national, and international pressures that combined to produce folkloric art, especially the growing importance of national and international tourism in Cuzco.

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