Dancing with the Devil and Other Stories my Mother Told Me

Michael Madrid

Abstract


"Dancing with the Devil and Other Stories My Mother Told" is an analysis of the history and growth of a popular folktale genre that developed during the 15th century in Mexico and has persisted over time throughout the Southwest. The oral tradition and the telling of folktales are means by which the cultural traditions of people of Mexican descent are maintained and fostered in informal as well as formal educational settings. The study is characterized by an examination of the cultural, religious, political, and historical characteristics of the indigenous, Spanish, and Mexican cultures that nurtured and promulgated the creation of this unique folktale motif. Furthermore, the various story types_etiologigal, the abandoned baby, devil as caballero or gentleman, and the-devil-at-a-dance_are carefully analyzed in terms of characterization, plot, setting, religious significance, and didactic function.

Keywords


folktale; cultural traditions; indigenous

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