Fiesta of the Spirits, Revisited: Indigenous Language Poetics and Politics Among Mazatecs of Oaxaca, Mexico
In the interest of understanding why some social movements succeed where others fail, this dissertation analyzes a particular type of resistance movement from southern Mexico. Revitalization movements centered on the creation and circulation of indigenous language texts have become widespread throughout the Americas. Seeking to reverse the myriad marginalizing effects of colonialism and its aftermath on indigenous peoples and the languages they speak, these movements aim to create written literatures for languages that, unlike national ones, circulate primarily orally. Such projects therefore have a dual agenda: to extend indigenous language use into new realms, and to raise indigenous languages' status from languages spoken by peasants and peons to languages worthy of sonnets, plays, and liturgical hymns.
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