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date: 14 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In El Güegüence, a dance many feel is a contested tradition with a contested set of significations, communal memory is fractured and ruptured in ways that produce a unique and dynamic discourse. This chapter focuses on Irene López’s creation of El Gran pícaro as collective memory and as an act of restored tradition that is faithful to the idea of the tradition—a reimagining of what the experience of participating in the tradition must have meant in the lives of the people engaged in it in the past. The chapter examines the redeployment of El Güegüence by groups who have embraced the figure and the act of dancing the masked drama as an expression of the subaltern, the marginalized, and the closeted minority identities within the context of the national culture. Ultimately, El Güegüence represents an artifact of the erasure of dance, and by extension, the indigenous body.

Keywords: Nicaragua, folk dance, Güegüence, anthropology, nationalism, UNESCO, Mestizaje

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