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Aztecs, Moors, and Christians Festivals of Reconquest in Mexico and Spain

ISBN-10: 0292731329

ISBN-13: 9780292731325

Edition: 2000

Authors: Max Harris

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Description:

In villages and towns across Spain and its former New World colonies, local performers stage mock battles between Spanish Christians and Moors or Aztecs that range from brief sword dances to massive street theatre lasting several days. The festival tradition officially celebrates the triumph of Spanish Catholicism over its enemies, yet this does not explain its persistence for more than five hundred years nor its widespread diffusion. In this insightful book, Max Harris seeks to understand Mexicans' "puzzling and enduring passion" for festivals of moros y cristianos. He begins by tracing the performances' roots in medieval Spain and showing how they came to be superimposed on the mock battles that had been a part of pre-contact Aztec calendar rituals. Then using James Scott' distinction between "public" and "hidden transcripts," he reveals how, in the hands of folk and indigenous performers, these spectacles of conquest became prophecies of the eventual reconquest of Mexico by the defeated Aztec peoples. Even today, as lively descriptions of current festivals make plain, they remain a remarkably sophisticated vehicle for the communal expression of dissent.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 1/1/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 319
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

Max Harris is Executive Director Emeritus of the Wisconsin Humanities Council, University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has also taught at Yale University and the University of Virginia. He is the author of four previous books, including Carnival and Other Christian Festivals: Folk Theology and Folk Performance and Aztecs, Moors, and Christians: Festivals of Reconquest in Mexico and Spain .

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Prologue
Beheading the Moor (Zacatecas, 1996)
Reading the Mask (Cuetzalan, 1988)
Spain, 1150-1521
A Royal Wedding (Lleida, 1150)
A Medley of Battles (Zaragoza, 1286-1414)
A Martyrdom with Hobby Horses (Barcelona, 1424)
A Game of Canes (Jaen, 1462)
Mexico, 1321-1521
The Fields of the Wars of Flowers
The Festival of the Sweeping of the Roads
The Festival of the Raising of the Banners
The Festival of the Flaying of Men
The Dance of the Emperor Motecuzoma
Mexico, 1521-1600
The Conquest of Mexico (1524-1536)
The Conquest of Rhodes (Mexico City, 1539)
The Conquest of Jerusalem (Tlaxcala, 1539)
The Tensions of Empire (Mexico City, 1565-1595)
The Travels of Alonso Ponce (New Spain, 1584-1589)
The Conquest of New Mexico (1598)
Spain, 1521-1600
Touring Aztecs (1522-1529)
Royal Entries (Toledo, 1533, and Naples, 1543)
Great Balls of Fire (Trent, 1549)
Noble Fantasies (Binche, 1549, and Rouen, 1550)
Feted Dreams of Peace (Andalusia, 1561-1571)
Changing Tastes (Daroca to Valencia, 1585-1586)
Gilded Indians (1521-1600)
Epilogue
Dancing with Malinche (New Mexico and Oaxaca, 1993-1994)
Notes
Bibliography
Index