Son de Oaxaca : nationalism, indigenismo, and folkloric performance
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This dissertation explores how indigenous brass bands and folkloric performances contributed to the construction of the Mexican nation in postrevolutionary Oaxaca. It also considers how national and indigenous imaginaries continue to be renegotiated in the settings of tourism, activism, and local celebrations. Prior studies of nationalism in Mexico have struggled to resolve the apparent contradiction between the indigenista goal of integrating native populations into mainstream society and the enormous amount of ethnographic knowledge that indigenista elites produced about indigenous groups during the first half of the 20th century. My study resolves this contradiction by showing how, through music education initiatives and public performances involving music, cultural elites developed not only a national culture but also contributed to the structures of knowledge underpinning daily life in Oaxaca. Both efforts served a common end in establishing the authority of the federal government in the region. I argue that this expanded view of nationalism and indigenismo helps explain the importance of folkloric performances in Oaxacan public life, where they continue to inform notions of indigenous heritage, political belief, and historical consciousness.