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Embodying MexicoTourism, Nationalism & Performance$
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Ruth Hellier-Tinoco

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195340365

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195340365.001.0001

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(p.3) Introduction
Embodying Mexico

Ruth Hellier-Tinoco

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the central notion that Mexico and Mexicanness are constructs, shaped and performed through multiple modes for interfacing nationalist and tourist agendas. Establishing the focus on two specific practices, the Dance of the Old Men and Night of the Dead, from islands on Lake Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, discussion centers on ways in which both were appropriated for, and deployed as efficacious, iconic embodiments and referents of Mexico and Mexicanness from the postrevolutionary era of the 1920s to the present day. Issues concerning designations of indigenousness and folklorico, and the ideological movement of indigenismo are introduced, particularly relating to the P'urhépecha peoples. The term performism is coined to frame the discussion, engaging with the broadest conceptual understandings of performance, performing, and performativity, with the aim of drawing attention to the multiple cohering and cumulative political, ideological, epistemological, and aesthetic ideas, processes, actions, and strategies.

Keywords:   performism, Mexicanness, iconic referents, the Dance of the Old Men, Night of the Dead, indigenismo, P'urhépecha, folklórico

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