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Carrying the Word

The Concheros Dance in Mexico City

by Susanna Rostas

Mesoamerican Worlds Series

"Rostas makes a significant contribution to the growing literature on urban performance genres in Latin America. . . Summing Up: Highly recommended."
—K.S. Fine-Dare, CHOICE

"Her ethnographic descriptions are the strength of this study... this work makes an important contribution to the field."
—Sandra Garner, American Anthropologist

"An engaging, thoughtful and forthright ethnography of a particular dance form, style and history."
—Jonathan Skinner, Bulletin of Latin American Research

In Carrying the Word: The Concheros Dance in Mexico City, the first full length study of the Concheros dancers, Susanna Rostas explores the experience of this unique group, whose use of dance links rural religious practices with urban post-modern innovation in distinctive ways even within Mexican culture, which is rife with ritual dances.

The Concheros blend Catholic and indigenous traditions in their performances, but are not governed by a predetermined set of beliefs; rather they are bound together by long standing interpersonal connections framed by the discipline of their tradition. The Concheros manifest their spirituality by means of the dance. Rostas traces how they construct their identity and beliefs, both individual and communal, by its means. The book offers new insights into the experience of dancing as a Conchero while also exploring their history, organization and practices.

Carrying the Word provides a new way for audiences to understand the Conchero's dance tradition, and will be of interest to students and scholars of contemporary Mesoamerica. Those studying identity, religion, and tradition will find this social-anthropological work particularly enlightening.

Paper: $29.95
Electronic Book: $23.95
30 day Electronic Book rental: $9.99


Author Bio:

Susanna Rostas: Susanna Rostas is a senior research associate in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. Her research, carried out predominantly in Mexico, has focused on performance, invented ethnicity, identity, religion and religious conversion. She has published widely on the Concheros and is co-author with Andre Droogers of The Popular Use of Popular Religion in Latin America (CEDLA 1993).


ISBN: 978-1-60732-138-5
Pages: 368
Illustrations: 41 b&w photos
Published: 2011
Discount Type: Short


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