Cándida F. Jáquez

Danzante or indigenous dance/music groups and peregrinos (religious pilgrims) pay La Virgen de Guadalupe homage throughout multiple days of continuous music, dance and prayer at the Mexico City Basilica plaza—many taking extended residence in make-shift tents and sleeping areas. The December 12 feast day celebration hosts what is arguably one of the largest and most diverse indigenous public gatherings in Latin America. At once in the realm of public spectacle and finely grained by intimate individual and group experience, issues such as indigenous diversity, cultural synthesis, socio-political justice, and religious belief emerge. Indigenous identities linked through symbolism found in dance narratives, regalia, and musical instruments illustrate how groups create belief and ownership of La Virgen de Guadalupe as a centralizing figure. This current effort explores how spatial and temporal relationships created through music and dance present a continuity marked by the challenges and contradictions in indigenous belief and contemporary life. Of particular interest is how groups and individuals use music, dance and belief to frame their major motivations and goals for attending such an event and what changes they hope to enact for their communities, families and themselves. This preliminary work represents the third year (2004, 2006, 2007) of research with indigenous music, dance and social interaction at the Mexico City Virgen de Guadalupe Basilica celebrations through ethnographic interviews and visual documentary techniques with danzante participants and peregrinos.

Cándida Jáquez is an Associate Professor and ethnomusicologist in the Music Department at Scripps College, Claremont, California. Her research has focused on Latino popular and Mexican traditional music with a specialty in women’s mariachi performance across the complexities of performativity, ethnographic research, race, class, and gender.

She is the co-editor, with Frances Aparicio, of Musical Migrations: Transnationalism and Cultural Hybridity in Latin/o America, Volume I. Her work also appears in such collections as Chicana Traditions: Continuity and Change (Norma Cantú; Olga Nájera-Ramà ­rez, eds.). She is currently completing a book manuscript concerning mariachi performance in North America.

A former Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Arte Americas Museum, Cándida remains an active member of the Chicana community in promoting the arts and education for under-represented groups. She can also be found on stage from time to time as a violinist and singer in the mariachi tradition.

Bring your lunch or purchase lunch in Malott Commons Dining Hall. Dessert and coffee will be provided.