Migrantes nahuas celebran a Santiago Apóstol : un ejercicio de comunalidad en Nueva York
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This essay is an analysis of the social and cultural elements of a ceremony held by an indigenous migrant community in New York City. The ceremony under study is the annual festivity and dances in honor of Santiago Apostol by the Nahua people from Teopantlán, Puebla (Mexico). In approaching this ceremony, I use the category ‘comunalidad’ put in practice by the indigenous leader and thinker (ayuujk/mixe) Floriberto Díaz Gómez in his book Escrito. Comunalidad, energía viva del pensamiento mixe. Ayuujktsënää´yën – ayuujkwënmää´ny – ayuujk mëk´äjtën. In this research, I approach native subjects who are able to revitalize the dances and rituals to honor the patron saint, who protects the land belonging to people in Mexico. However, I argue that the revitalization of this dances and rituals is carried out to recreate and reproduce community by the subject in the new space it inhabits: the periphery of the urban spaces. Hence, the indigenous migrant people in the United States of America are reproducing their social and cultural spaces. Throughout the study, I illustrate how the religious and cultural practices become mechanisms through which these territories are constituted to exercise the "comunalidad", even if they do not possess the land in this country. In this case study, the new cultural territory is created along the districts of New York City. This space is characterized by the reproduction of rituals and ceremonies to venerate patron saints, the use of native ingredients in the foodways and the practice of traditional medicine in daily life. Moreover, the territory is constituted by private spaces and the hierarchical social organization stablished to hold ceremonies. The cultural complex of the Santiago Apostol dance also allows us to understand contemporary indigenous migration to New York City as a result of an economical displacement in the context of NAFTA.