Work in Progress Talk: David Robichaux Haydel

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
LAL Seminar Room
The Latin American Library 7001 Freret Street, 4th floor, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library

Devotional Dances in Religious Feasts in Post-Indigenous Central Mexico and the Horcasitas Papers

The presentation is based on the dances performed in the celebration of religious feasts filmed since 2011 by the author and his students, mainly in the Texcoco region east of Mexico City.  Some video clips will be shown.  Among the topics covered are the religious and organizational aspects of the dances and the use of specific elements such as stuffed animals, whips, and female and black impersonators found in other areas of Mesoamerica.  A portion of the talk will be specifically devoted to the papers of the Mexican scholar Fernando Horcasitas (1924-1980), which are held at the Latin American Library.  This is a rich but untapped source for comparative Mesoamerican ethnology and other area topics.  The field notes with ethnographic descriptions of some of the dances in the region and elsewhere, including the unpublished Nahuatl text of a dance drama in one of the villages where I have conducted research, provide an invaluable resource for ethnographic field work.  In fact, this Nahautl version is the only surviving copy of the original text of a dance no longer performed.

David Robichaux Haydel holds a doctor’s degree in Ethnology from the University of Paris-Ouest (Nanterre-Paris X) and is emeritus professor in the Graduate Program in Social Anthropology at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, where he has taught since 1977.  He has edited volumes and published numerous articles and book chapters on the family.  His Mesoamerican family system concept has become an obliged reference in family and kinship studies in this cultural area.  He has carried out extensive field research in Tlaxcala and the Texcoco region in central Mexico.  He is currently engaged in ethnographic research on the religious and organizational aspects of dances in the latter region.

The talk will be in English.