An Ethnographic Study of Afro-Mexicans in Mexico’s Gulf Coast: Fishing, Festivals, and Foodways

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One of only a few studies using ethnographic research to document, analyze, and present the traditional culture of Afro-Mexicans in Tamiahua, Veracruz, Mexico.


“Scholars of the Black Atlantic, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists . . . owe Dr. Hall a tremendous debt of gratitude for compiling this authoritative collection of research.” – Prof. George White, Jr., CUNY

“. . . an intriguing study of various aspects of Afro-Mexican folk culture. . . . The author’s descriptions and analysis are developed from firsthand experiences within the communities. They make for compelling reading. His ethnic representation of La Danza del Papaleto . . . is even stronger. The section features vibrant descriptions of the dance tradition, and interesting conclusions that are especially relevant to important issues about culture and identity.” – Prof. Gregory Hansen, Arkansas State University

"Hall's work aptly demonstrates the existence of the African Diaspora in these Mexican communities, and in doing so he sheds light on a part of Mexico's past and present that is often made invisible. In addition to Hall's ability to highlight local voices in his research, one of the strengths of this work is found in the presentation of a detailed case study, which illustrates both the historical and contemporary influences that contribute to this unique local identity. This work also illustrates how collective community memory can be addressed through performances that include detailed dances and festivals. This approach is unique in its attempt to demonstrate how telling, remembering, witnessing, and performing memory also work to craft local identity for this community. While the inclusion of individual community voices helps to enhance the rich ethnographic methodology used in this research, there is a heavy reliance on one or two consultants that diminishes the overall strength of the work. Readers will appreciate Hall's attempt to describe this community, citing a wide variety of terms such as Afromestizo, Afro-Mexican, negro, and moreno; however, given the diverse socio-cultural and historical significance of each word, a stronger analysis of this terminology is necessary." - Journal of Folklore Research

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
1. Africans in Tamiahua
2. Let the Archives Speak
3. Black Self-Identity without a Color Line
4. Rituals Dance and Festivals
5. Foodways
6. Summary
Appendix A
Appendix B

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