Cultura Folk

Posted by: | April 10, 2009 | Comments Off on Cultura Folk

De las dos lecturas la que mas me gusto fue la de Jose Maria Arguedas. Esto porque me hace recordar al tipo de historias que son contadas por gente mayor (abuelos) a gente mas joven. Es una historia la cual nos muestra al pongo, el cual es constantemen…

answer to Florence’s comment

Posted by: | February 5, 2009 | Comments Off on answer to Florence’s comment

I do not know why but posting comments on your blog seems impossible. I don’t know if someone succeeded already but you should check if there is any blocking option or something! ThanksI really had the same difficulties than you while reading these leg…

Mythic Propositions

Posted by: | February 4, 2009 | Comments Off on Mythic Propositions

Vexation. “Where and What is the moral of this legend?!” – Was a question I had the honour of asking myself four consecutive times, once for each of Asturias’ tales. In Greek myths and legends such as Daedalus and Icarus, Narcissus, and Sisyphus, the m…

Legends, Folk, and Popular Culture

Posted by: | February 4, 2009 | Comments Off on Legends, Folk, and Popular Culture

The Folk, when I think of folk for the most part I think of “low culture”, is this wrong? Probably yes, after reading the four short stories for the week, I realized that if these are considered “folk”, then “folk” isn’t what I presumed it to be, and it definitely isn’t low culture. Now for […]

Popular Culture as Folk Culture

Posted by: | February 3, 2009 | Comments Off on Popular Culture as Folk Culture

I still do not fully understand what Popular Culture is. I could probably explain it to another university student, but I cannot imagine trying to explain it to myself as if I were 8. My economics teacher said that “if you can explain the stuff we are …

Popular Culture as folk culture

Posted by: | February 3, 2009 | Comments Off on Popular Culture as folk culture

A ser sincera, a pesar de que me gustaron las lecturas de esta semana, tengo que decir que la lectura de las leyendas fue un tanto difícil; sin embargo el leer una leyenda siempre será una forma de conocer un poco del reflejo de cierta cultura, como …

Popular culture as folk culture

Posted by: | February 3, 2009 | Comments Off on Popular culture as folk culture

In comparison to last weeks chapter of epic length, I found these tales much easier to get through and was captivated by the imagery presented. I’m not very familiar with magical realism and am eager to discuss these stories in class and get a better u…

Legends and Dreams

Posted by: | February 3, 2009 | Comments Off on Legends and Dreams

The stories in “The Mirror of Lida Sal” by Migel Angel Asturias were difficult to follow yet enjoyable to read. The subtext of the title was “Tales based on Mayan Myths and Guatemalan Legends.” My unfamiliarity with Guatemalan folk culture showed as I attempted to pick apart his meanings in these short stories. While I […]

magical realism…

Posted by: | February 3, 2009 | Comments Off on magical realism…

yesterday, today and tomorrow…love is entirely contained in everything

Posted by: | February 3, 2009 | Comments Off on yesterday, today and tomorrow…love is entirely contained in everything

Miguel Angel Asturias writes with what I consider a form of magical realism…Perhaps it might be called romantic surrealism. I’m not sure how to classify it or what his agenda or message is. I found the legends engaging because of the language and the imagery he was able to create in my mind. […]

Popular culture as Folk culture

Posted by: | February 3, 2009 | Comments Off on Popular culture as Folk culture

I enjoyed reading these legends. I’ve already read this kind of mythology last term more precisely the Popol Vuh which is the Mayan book telling us about the creation of the world. Moreover I had the same difficulties reading these stories than reading the Popol Vuh. I’m not an native english-speaker so I was not used to some magic and fantastic words.

I think folk culture is definitely a part of popular culture. Folk culture has different function to fulfill: a function of education, of protection of the ancient culture but also a function of « demand ».

Myths and legends always have a message. They teach how human beings act and how they should react in front of the events they have to face in life. It’s a kind of philosophy of life. They analyze the men’s qualities and flaws.

To perpetuate folk culture is also a way to protect the roots of Latin American culture, the particularities of its history. Indigenous culture has been threatened by colonization so folk culture is a way to perpetuate the indigenous identity the colonizers tried to destroy. As we saw in class popular culture in Latin America is also mass culture so folk culture could appear like a more authentic legacy because it doesn‘t depend on the art market. Even if culture evolves through the years, each culture has it own roots. Folk culture means that Latin American people have their own history, their own past so folk culture is an important marker of itheir dentity.

Finally, what I mean by function of « demand » it’s that through the lecture of those myths and legends one’s could feel the indigenous’ resistance. For instance in the Pongo’s dream the frst character represent one particular group and is oppressed and humiliated. This oppression refers to the white men’s one. Those ideas of oppression, domination, stratification could describe the colonization. However, despite this cruel environment, the story shows that people could stand up for defend their rights. They can do something even if they are not supported by a large number of people, indeed, the other servants never help the first character to struggle. I enjoyed reading this text because it was quite optimistic: nothing is rigid and fixed but everything could change. Through this reading one’s could see the indigenous’ will to overthrow their oppressors.





Popular Culture as Folk Culture

Posted by: | February 3, 2009 | Comments Off on Popular Culture as Folk Culture

At first I didn’t really understand the point of these articles, but then I began to think about them in terms of my own country, and figured out that a big part of folk culture is important to popular culture.  Although the legends in these articles …

Folk Culture

Posted by: | February 3, 2009 | Comments Off on Folk Culture

I enjoyed some of the folklore readings. In the legend of the singing tablet Utuquel is the chewer of the moon a creative muse of sorts. The singing tablets story seemed to represent the idea of collective consciousness for me. It was striking how the…

Culture as Folk culture

Posted by: | February 3, 2009 | Comments Off on Culture as Folk culture

I really liked the readings this week, especially the first one regarding Mayan myths. I find that many myths and legends (not only restricted to Latin America) always have a message which is transmitted in the story, moral messages to be more precise,…

Understanding Culture through Stories

Posted by: | February 2, 2009 | Comments Off on Understanding Culture through Stories

I found this weeks readings interesting and thought provoking, but still challenging, though in an entirely different way that the readings prior. The Asturias readings represented a resignification of indigenous ideas and were loaded with symbolism ab…

Folk Culture

Posted by: | February 2, 2009 | Comments Off on Folk Culture

I enjoyed this week’s reading. I liked the Indigenous ‘legend of the singin tablets’ ,‘legend of the crystal mask’, ‘legend of the silent bell’ and ‘legends of the dancing butchers’ by Asturias. I was truly inspired by Arguedas (for what he had done) and his story is very touching especially after reading last week’s chapter which I found quite depressing. The change was very nice and well received.

 It was fun reading a story or tale that was passed down from generation to generation by Amerindians. This story however was somewhat hard to envision, but after a while I started to understand. I am not too much into indigenous legends but I would like to as I enjoy other mythology (greek). I find these stories somewhat poetic and softening like a lullaby or nursery rhyme. I also did like how detailed it was. I found it interesting that the story was based around the new year of the indigenous people. Many of these tales have more than one meaning as they are made from a mixing of cultures from Latin American past. There were only two particular stories which I found especially relevant to last weeks topic, but that is not to say the other two were not enjoyed or could be relevant. The first tale which pointed out through metaphor and medium that culture has to have been ‘created’ by large range of things to become beutifle aka rainbow is made by a mixture of all the tablets. This tries to show that mixing folk culture is a good thing. The other story that stuck out for me was the ‘legend of the silent  bell’ which actually features Jesus as an actual person in a folk culture story about Amerindian legend. This is particularly interesting because it shows what the previous story was using through metaphor but in this case much more direct.

‘The Pongo’s dream’ is inspiring because it shows uprising that one can have against oppressors. It is also good because it is a symbol for how Arguedas was a helping force in helping get the oppressed in Peru a voice. It is also good because Pongo rises up against his oppressors in a very humorous and clever way. He did this while feeding the ego of his master. This was a nice change from the tales just before this one in the reader as it displayed a lighter side to these concepts.




Popular culture as folk culture

Posted by: | February 2, 2009 | Comments Off on Popular culture as folk culture

The readings assigned for this week consisted of several Mayan legends, as well as a parable. I noticed that there are two themes that reoccur throughout all of the stories: violence and religion. The Mayan legends especially contain quite a lot of vio…

Asturias and Arguedas

Posted by: | February 2, 2009 | Comments Off on Asturias and Arguedas

This week’s readings were the mythical stories of Miguel Angel Asturias, and “The Pongo’s Dream” by Jose Maria Arguedas. I had a bit of trouble understanding Asturias’ stories, mostly the first one, “Legend of the Singing Tablets”, because it was so wordy, and I was a little confused about what was going on. After I re-read a little bit, I started to really like it, because these stories are so different than the ones that we have been reading so far. The stories were really fanciful and full of unusual imagery, which made them very rich. I think Asturias represents Indigenous culture really well; the stories didn’t seem to show the culture as inferior or as an extreme oddity. Indigenous culture is shown in a sort of isolated, uninfluenced form in the “Legend of the Singing Tablets” as there is no Spanish influence. The next story, “Legend of the Crystal Mask” shows a little Spanish influence, as Ambiastro has fled into the mountains to escape the Spanish (at least that’s what I gathered…). Of course, “Legend of the Silent Bell” is set in the context of Spanish rule, so the changes in Indigenous culture in relation to Spanish conquest is evident. I especially liked “Legend of the Crystal Mask”, and Ambiastro’s obsession with creating little idols and things. My favourite thing is his smoking tube with the monkeys that play with the smoke…it’s so imaginative. The twist at the end when his creations are the cause of his demise is really clever. The idea that man’s creations and technology are taking over our lives (in a severe way, in this case) echoes a lot of today’s science fiction themes, a parallel that is very interesting. I really like how the writings of Asturias, although pieces of folkloric culture, still remain captivating today when the world has left little place for such ancient civilizations and mystical traditions.

I especially liked the second story by Arguedas. The treatment of the lord to the Pongo is appalling, and I found it interesting that the author, who is not fully Quechuan, but half, would show the Indian population as so gentle in comparison to the evil Spanish lord. It often seems that people of mixed race identify more with the race that is more oppressed, maybe due to the dominant race’s judgement of mixed-bred individuals as inferior. I’m sure this isn’t true for everyone, but I thought it is true of Arguedas, who I guess could have chosen to identify more with his European heritage instead. I liked how when the “little man” is telling the lord his dream, it kind of seems like the dream is going to show the lord as the better man. The twist at the end makes the entire dream make sense, and even a little comical. I like how in the midst of such unabashed exploitation and abuse of the Indian servants, one stands up against the lord. The way he does it is very clever, and he proves that even a “little man” can upset and disturb the arrogant lord’s pride.  



Posted by: | February 2, 2009 | Comments Off on POPULAR CULTURE AS FOLK CULTURE

I think the first reading can be a little tricky for people who haven’t experienced reading Latin American legends, but besides that it’s a very good way for people to familiarize with it because it has a lot of elements that represent very well native…

Popular culture as folk culture.

Posted by: | February 2, 2009 | Comments Off on Popular culture as folk culture.

This week, the readings were quite entertaining. Indeed, I really enjoyed readings some legends and stories. These legends are a part of folk culture and of popular culture too. What are the differences between these two terms?  Do they have the same meanings?
Folk culture is composed of myths and traditions. Generally, legends from folk culture […]

Popular Culture as folk culture

Posted by: | February 2, 2009 | Comments Off on Popular Culture as folk culture

When I was struggling to understand the writing of Asturias I found myself captivated by the words themselves. I often found myself re-reading paragraphs in an attempt to pick up the general direction of the “Legend of the Singing Tablets”, the “Legend…

3: Popular culture as folk culture

Posted by: | February 2, 2009 | Comments Off on 3: Popular culture as folk culture

The readings for this week were very interesting. Even though they were fictional short stories, they all incorporated and demonstrated a lot of the concepts we have been discussing in class. The Asturias stories were by favorite, but it took me thro…

Popular Culture as Folk Culture.

Posted by: | February 2, 2009 | Comments Off on Popular Culture as Folk Culture.

 This week’s topic of popular culture as folk culture provided to very powerful and thought provoking essays. Although I am sure many will disagree with me, I personally do not enjoy  the style of Miguel Angel Asturias writing. I am not a big fan o…

popular culture as folk culture.

Posted by: | February 2, 2009 | Comments Off on popular culture as folk culture.

I really enjoyed these two readings. They were both easy to get into and kept my attention. The first article by Miguel Angel Asturias is comprised of a collection of legends. A legend is a story or body of stories that are handed down through the years and often popularly accepted as historical. Often legends explain why certain things come to be, or intend to teach a lesson of some sort. I liked the Legend of the Silent Bell and how it created a picture of so many different people coming together. The description in Claras dream, (although disturbing) was memorable to me when she describes the joining of “her brown, warm-blooded race, with all its sacrifices, and the Spanish race, brave and also tarnished.” Most of the people in the Legend were donating material objects (things they could be happy without) pieces of gold like the wedding rings of passed away relatives while this Indigenous but Christian girl had only her golden eyes to give. To give your eyes for something is firstly insane, and secondly shows a great passion or devotion to whatever it is or whoever it is you are giving them to. I was shocked in the end when Clara is yelling out about what she had done, begging Don Sancho (representing the church) to recognize her sacrifice. She calls out to everyone telling of her sacrifice for her race to mix with Christ.  She is ignored, her voice extinguished by the bell… Having just read the ending paragraph again, it seems as though the bell extinguishes the voice of the nun, and in turn grows hoarser and hoarser until it itself stops ringing… I will be really interested to hear what people have drawn out of these Legends!

The second article was also very enjoyable. It’s always nice to hear stories where a bully, in this case the Master is in the end made to look like the fool. The story created a picture of a community or environment that was highly stratified and cruel. Stories like this would definitely have an empowering effect on anyone who felt like they were in a similar situation as the pongo. It encourages people to stand up for themselves even when the situation seems impossible. It also portrays the idea that you can do something without a huge support from other people. The other servants never stood up for the pongo, but probably because they were too afraid. It only takes one person to take a stand against something for others to join and feel as though they can actually accomplish something.




Pongos dream and beyond

Posted by: | February 2, 2009 | Comments Off on Pongos dream and beyond

I really enjoyed the readings this week.  I thought they differed so much from last weeks readings and I love the drastic change.  The first set of readings was difficult for me to conceptualize at first.  I had a hard time grasping what the author was trying to say but I think I was just thinking too much.  I found that simply enjoying it instead of dissecting it was the best way to read it.  I especially enjoyed actually reading a story that had been passed down and seeing the way people lived in a time and space that is so different from my own.    I really enjoy mythology and love how Latin American popular culture is encompassed in these complex mythical stories.  I’m really looking forward to our discussion on these readings as I would like to know more background and then read them again.
The second reading was more my style though.  Of course I like it all but I really love underdog stories.  I truly enjoy the idea of rising from one’s upbringing or "place" in life and challenging the social norm, or any norm really.  I really like the character of the ‘little man’ and also the masters character as well.  They were both good reminders of how difficult but necessary change is.  All throughout his anecdote, or dream, the Master still held his same arrogant air.  He was so confident about his position in life that he couldn’t even fathom the idea of someone else surpassing him in any way.  This is true within most societies, there is always someone at the top who is difficult to get through to, on many issues.
Another theme throughout this story was the religious one.  It seemed as though religion was what the master held so high, to what he himself answered to, so that the serf building it up so much was already ahead.  The serf knew that by using religion as a focal point, he would have the master in a stronghold, there is nothing even he could say. 
There are really so many underlying ‘good’ things about this story.

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