Syncretism on trial. The religious matrix of the indigenous groups in Mesoamerica

Saúl Millán *Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, INAH. Translation: Denisse Piñera Palacios

Syncretism has often been defined as the integration or secondary construction of selective aspects that come from different historic traditions.1 The concept has been particularly relevant for Mexican anthropology, confronted since its origins to religious contexts in which it is difficult to distinguish between the vernacular field and the external field, between what comes from ancient Pre-Colombian traditions and what is a product of the colonial undertaking.

However, the concept of syncretism has had a disturbing trajectory in our field. The first anthropologists to be interested in the religious practices of Mexican indigenous peoples, particularly in Mesoamerica, were so due to the light that said practices could cast on the Pre-Hispanic past. By denying the evident impact of the “spiritual conquest”, as Ricard called it, said studies were always devoted to highlight the existent Pre-Colombian features, incessantly looking for idols behind the altars, and to exalt ritual expressions as a group of “magical survivals.” The idea that emerged from this kind of approach, as noted by Greenberg, is that after five-hundred years of Christianity, ecclesiastic repression and colonialism, in nowadays ceremonies only a few “bones” of the ancient body of beliefs have survived. With this, not only was the strength with which colonial institutions are projected upon the religious field of the indigenous peoples denied, but, most of all, the underlying capacity of this field to be organized as a coherent system.

Syncretism and acculturation

Subsequent studies, developed from the decade of the forties, looked for a more coherent answer to the phenomena that emerged from cultural contact. Under the influence of American anthropology, the concept of syncretism was rapidly transferred towards new analysis formulas in which cultural contact and its interconnections are denominated acculturation, which Aguirre Beltrán used to examine the dominical process in mestizo America. In fact, in 1949 Redfiel, Linton and Herskovits had noted that the word acculturation “includes all the phenomena that result when groups of different cultures have a continuous and firsthand contact, with subsequent changes in the cultural patterns of one or both groups”.2 Herskovits had more particularly distinguished between contacts that produce a “cultural mosaic” and contacts that constitute a continuous acculturation process. However, Herskovit’s representations about the acculturation process continued to enclose the sense of an automatic mechanism, analogous to the combination of elements in a chemical process. Although Herskovit’s view of cultural syncretism represented a clear contrast towards the connotations of “confusion” and “deviation” the word had acquired during the XIX century, the idea of a mechanical blend that integrated elements of dissimilar cultures in a sole formation remained. Hence a good part of the analytic procedure consisted in measuring the degree of acculturation, the number of foreign elements and the dimensions of the new heritage.

Conversely, Peel argued that the different variations in which heterogeneous cultures are integrated do not depend so much on the degree or the amount, but on the kind and quality of the debt.3 In both cases, however, reflections turn around the idea of a cultural borrowing which is added to an existent repertoire, forming collections of heteroclite elements which are hard to catalog and distinguish five-hundred years later.

Talking about borrowings is too easy a solution for a problem that contains multiple edges. Each time a problem is presented, the ethnologist makes use of history to try to understand what exactly was borrowed,4 where lays the foreign and where the vernacular. Ethnography then becomes a sort of historic detection which, for want of the adequate materials, induces researches to the field of conjectures and organizes debate in terms of an alternative: the foreign elements have been integrated to an ancient structure which corresponds to indigenous religion, or indigenous religions are essentially a Christian structure with vernacular elements that work as additional appendixes.

During the first half of the XX century, the studies on indigenous religions performed in Mexico oscillate between two antagonistic positions that offer a definite answer to this alternative. Differently from Beals and Foster, who highlight the Mediterranean origin of Mesoamerican religions, Van Zantwijk considers that Christian concepts have penetrated in a very limited way the contemporary indigenous representations.5 In the dance the Purépechas executed to illustrate combat between Moorish and Christians, Van Zantwijk remarks a pre-Hispanic representation of the ancient duality between the Sun and the Moon, claiming that the Moorish wear a silver moon on their backs, and the Christians a golden eagle. Alluding to the fortuitous character of these interpretations, Carrasco suggests that the Christians’ eagle is related to the national emblem, while the Moorish moon is nothing but the half moon of Islam.6

Bricolage in Mesoamerica

The interpretation game, which has traveled along the debates on indigenous religiosity, can be nowadays illustrated by the representations the Huaves of San Mateo del Mar formulate around the Corpus Christi celebration, which serves as a stage for a ceremonial dance in which the thunder (monteoc) decapitates the snake (ndiüc), introducing the raining season. Associated to the myths of water, the dance of omalndiüc (or snakehead) has been the object of encountered interpretations that on the one side place it as a variation of Mesoamerican mythology,7 and on the other side as a representation of the Biblical combat between David and Goliath.8 If the first interpretation does not permit to understand the connections of the dance to the liturgical cycle, the second one lacks an adequate reference to understand the relation of the Biblical scenario to the raining season. In this context, it is important to consider both the characteristics of the characters and the celebration dates.

Not only was Corpus Christi the favorite celebration of Medieval Spain, but also one of the privileged vehicles for America’s spiritual conquest, “where its meaning as symbol and public expression of Christianity before the infidels acquired a new value”.9 Its spread to Colonial Mexico advanced in parallel towards the Novohispanic frontiers and reached intense levels in the central areas of the country, where the Franciscans were in charge of the evangelization. In Oaxaca, headquarters of Dominican evangelization, the fate of Corpus Christi was uncertain. In the middle of the XVI century, after the destruction of the tecalli which the Mexicas had built at Cerro El Fortín to consecrate it to Centeotl, the celebration of the Lunes del Cerro was instituted, which is still performed with a certain celebrity at the central valleys of Oaxaca. Apparently, in this celebration “it was customary for the lay people to go to the Cerro de El Fortín, exhibiting the Tarasca enormous snake which preceded the Corpus Christi procession”.10 According to Foster, who registers similar information for the Corpus celebrations that took place in Medieval Spain, “the Tarasca was a creature in the form of a dragon which marched incredibly slowly, moved by men who walked inside it”.11

The similarity of certain Pre-Colombian elements and the celebration of Corpus had called Sahagún’s attention, who described the dances performed during the fifth month of the nahua, the one of Toxcatl, he notes that they performed them “joined by the hands and wriggling, like popular dances men and women perform in Old Castilla”.12 Caro Baroja notices in his turn that during the Corpus celebrations, the fight between Saint Michael and an angel, on the one hand, and the devils on the other, was simulated. This “confrontation dance” turned into “a pantomime in which angels fought devils, which were dressed as Moorish, being defeated in the end by Saint Michael the Angel, who ended the dance severing Mohamed’s head”.13 The confrontation between Moorish and Christians, devils and Saint Michael, was superposed to the sense of the Tarasca which, being the representation of “Heresy defeated by Faith”, was in its turn decapitated by some of the saints of the Judeo-Christian hagiography. The incorporation of Saint Matthew as the representation of the angel,14 in one of the processions performed in Valencia until the second half of the XIX century, allows to establish analogous associations between the Christian images that preceded the images of the calendar of saints’ days-related to the Corpus symbolism- and the universe of Christian images that preceded the evangelization of the Huave area.

For the Huaves, the arrival of the raining cycle is produced due to the rain requests the local authorities address to the Cerro Bernal, one of the topographic elevations located over the coast of Chiapas. Thanks to Carlos Navarrete’s research, we know that the archaeological zone of Cerro Bernal was -during Pre-Colombian times-, a strategic point for the control of the two possible communication routes, one of which supposed the navigation of lagoons and coast canals, and the other which ran between the hill country and the first foothills of the Sierra Madre. Hence it is “logical to find abundant settlements whose chronology includes from the late Pre-Classic until the moment of the conquest, with the corresponding Teotihuacan occupation”.15 The group of stelae, found at the site of Los Horcones, shows all the same the Cerro Bernal as an important ceremonial center, formed by a succession of architectonic sets which make up squares, platforms, pyramids, and ball game courts. Stela number 3 is, however, the most significant: the main topic-says Navarrete- is the god Tláloc, “in one of the best representations I know of this Divinity”.16 Navarrete, who associates the monument to raining and spring rituals, notes that the image of Tláloc presents a polarity between two aquatic elements: in the left hand, the god holds a cup from which water emanates, “which falls in the manner of rain”, and in the right hand it holds an undulating snake which represents the “walking water”.

During Pre-Colombian times, this regional tlalocan constituted a strategic settlement to control the routes for the commerce of salt between the central altiplano and the Soconusco, one of which rested between Teotihuacan and the Maya zone of Kaminaljuyú.17 The stelae were discovered in this last place, and Quiriarte calls them “confrontation scenes”. They reproduce the image of two mythical entities whose battle is without any doubt one of the possible variations of the periodical struggle the thunder undertakes against the snake:

The main character, which can be either a human figure or an anthropomorphic figure with feline, snake or crocodile features, attacks or holds with outspread arms a composed snake-shaped body […] Who are these characters with multiple attributes represented as attackers? What does this confrontation mean? Is it possible they symbolize heaven and earth and that the jaguar, the crocodile and the snake are bearers of these meanings? Their confrontation, violent or not, could have led to their union. In the same way the head with volute eye is closely related to this topic, and its role as water provider is firmly established in stelae 1 and 23; it is possible that the combat or confrontation scene made water happen. This would suppose that the head with volute eye was a prototype of the rain god.18

Northeast of Kaminaljuyú, in the zone of Izapa and on the same commercial route through which salt was transported, similar stelae have been located on which appears, according to Mercedes de la Garza, “a dragon with human body and great head-dress, which holds high some kind of ax to threaten a great snake.” Besides, De la Garza adds that “the anthropomorphic character that brandishes the ax may not only be a man, but a rain god or priest of this god, since in the Maya codes […] Chaac, the rain god, is represented with a very similar face to the one of the dragon of Izapa, with an eye in the form of a volute, with a human body and, many times, with an ax in the hand, symbol of thunder”.19


Estelas 3 y 23 de Izapa (Fuente: Mercedes De la Garza, 1984)

The gods appear on the group of stelae that are distributed along the commercial route of salt, from Cerro Bernal to Kaminaljuyú, passing by Chiapa de Corzo, Izapa and Cotzumalguapa, they make up a global system of transformations that includes, among its several variants, the main characters of the Huave mythology. However, it is a fact that colonial institutions promoted a new change of direction in the representation of characters, translating the terms of a regional system to the terms of a local system. In the manner of a Levi-Straussian bricoleur, which uses “odds and ends” of what it has at hand,20 the system of local representations is organized with remnants of the past and residual elements of a culture that does not get to completely assert itself. The possibility of relating elements that come from heteroclite contexts, different times and strange cultures is limited to a “logic of the sensible” -to use another Lévi-Strauss’ expression -which associates ritual objects, instruments and characters according to their tangible qualities. In a vague context of stelae, feathered snakes and remote Divinities, the Huaves who are born in the Colony follow a similar logic to build a bridge between the remnants of regional history and the new symbols of Christian evangelization. A considerable part of these symbols concentrates on the celebration of Corpus Christi, where the Holy Sacrament is the tangible image of the Sun, and where ndiüc, the snake, is the tangible image of the Tarasca, one of the most popular characters of the most important celebration of Medieval Spain.

Even when it is impossible to reconstruct the historic link that connects the elements of the Huave ceremonies to the ones that appear in Corpus Christi of Medieval Spain, as well as the symbolic representations of the latter to the ancient characters of the Pre-Colombian stelae, it is feasible to suppose that this process was more logical than conditional. In the first place, the attention focuses on the fragmentation of a same symbolic set, which has heresy as a center, and goes from Saint Michael to the devils, from Mohamed to the Tarasca, into a new ritual formation that associates the actors to the ceremonial cycle of rain. The figure of Saint Matthew the Apostle, the “angel” of the procession in Valencia, unfolds, in its turn, into two different meanings: husband of the Virgin of Candelaria, who is, in her turn müm ncherrec (“south wind”), and executioner of the snake in certain myths.

This fragmentation of the characters in meanings and different actors seems to operate with the same fidelity in the Huave representations of the Pre-Colombian universe. If the stelae of Izapa and Kaminaljuyú present anthropomorphic characters with “feline, snake and crocodile features”, the Huave system of beliefs dissociates the reptile, the tiger and the alligator into three diverging elements, distributed along a hierarchical scale where only the first one participates of the attributions of the rain cycle. An element stands out from the snake: the head, which appears on the stelae of Kaminaljuyú as “a prototype of the god of rain.” Moreover, the stela of Izapa exhibits a character with an ax in the hand, “symbol of thunder”, which not only makes us think of the machetes the Huave associate to thunder, but of certain iconographic reproductions of Saint Matthew the Apostle, in which the saint holds a “halberd, lance or ax”.21

Odds and ends

In a famous text, Claude Lévi-Strauss noted that, in the manner of an intellectual bricolage, mythic thought uses odds and ends of events that come from different universes.22 The religious culture that emerged in Mesoamerica since the XVI century was not strange to this kind of behavior. More than a cultural borrowing, in which acquisitions appear under the form of an aggregated element, it would be necessary to think local representations recognized elements that were already present, where they should have been, in such a way that the Christian material incorporated during the moment of contact allows to explain latent information and to improve incomplete schemes.23

The presence of an incomplete scheme was, in fact, a common factor between the evangelizing enterprise and the peripheral indigenous cultures. Although the conquest of souls and the dissolution of ancient practices was a long task, half a century after the Conquest a considerable number of idols had been demolished and most of the priests of the Mesoamerican cult had been eradicated by different means. In exchange, the evangelizing enterprise offered a simplified doctrine -divided into the poles of good and evil- which was not presented as perfection or plenitude of the native religions, but as a radical break with the previous universe. In a process in which doctrines did not have the adequate significance, mendicant orders oppose to local cosmogonies the virtues of humility that surround the saints and restrict their presence to a limited number, in order not to inundate religion with the infinite martyrs of the Judeo-Christian hagiography.

In fact, evangelizers do not operate based on a doctrinal corpus containing all the Christian theology, but on a limited repertoire of images that are explained more for their signifier than for the virtue of their signified. The importance attributed to the images of saints associated to animals, as was recently noted by Báez-Jorge, evidences the attention indigenous people pay to the iconographic frame of Catholicism, whose fauna makes it possible to translate between the Christian calendar of saints’ days and the ancient code of Nagualism.24 If the image becomes a cult object, it is because it builds a bridge between the sign and the concept, linking realities that could not be apprehended but from a logic of the sensible. Gruzinski notices that even if the abundance of idols reminds us, by analogy, of the one of the patron saints, both of them extract their power from two essential attributes: clothing and adornments, which allow the images to be less defined for their moral attributes than for their emblematic character.25 In the game of readings and interpretations with which the indigenous population decodes Christian messages, sensory properties acquire, in fact, an unusual relevance. It is the sensory pole, to use Turner’s terms, the one that gains grounds before the ideological pole. Colonial iconography, full of snakes and swords, animals and heavenly bodies, constitutes a meeting point between two cultures that nevertheless maintain a different relationship before sensory images.

When considering the guidelines that rule the indigenous reading of signs, Tzvetan Todorov has claimed that Pre-Colombian cultures privileged a form of communication that differed, in its essence, from Hispanic parameters. While the latter promote communication among men, the former change signs into a form of communication with the world. Hence the Pre-Colombian universe appears as an over-interpreted world in which the indigenous individual “favors the paradigm with detriment to the syntagma and the code with detriment to the context”.26 The lack of writing plays a relevant role in this plane, since it promotes a highly ritualized verbal form, but also a different relationship towards iconographic languages. In opposition to the image, Hispanic writing allows the absence of designated objects; in the same way, it makes possible the absence of speakers. On the contrary, the indigenous code demands a transmitter, who is more sensitive to signs; it translates the qualities of the universe into omens and registers all the events in an established order. Like many other events that follow one another during the century of the conquest, the invasion of images is organized as a reading of the signs, which operates by means of resemblance or analogy. This process finds an adequate correspondence in evangelization strategies, because Christianity spreads in terms of images: “Christian images and indigenous idols -says Gruzinski- are considered as entities in competition and, in a certain way, as equivalents”.27 However, while friars translate concepts, which in the chronicles of those times allow to establish equivalences between abstract gods, the indigenous people who emerge from the Colony seem to be limited to a logic of the concrete, which renders comparable the sensory properties of those images that, up to then, resulted heteroclite. These equivalences, which operate on a sensory plane, are the ones that allow to affirm that the “union of Xipe Totec with patriarch Joseph appears to reside in the renewal implied by the flowering of the saint’s rod and by the new skin worn by the skinned”, as Aguirre Beltrán does to characterize the synthesis between an old Mesoamerican god and the eponymous saint of a Nahua community in the Sierra de Zongolica.28

In fact, in different cases, a similar process can be observed, in which the indigenous culture of the XVI century retrieves common images of Medieval Spain. More than universes, these images are residual elements extracted from a wider doctrinal body. They constitute, in the words of Lévi-Strauss, odds and ends which acquire relevance by virtue of their sensory properties. The images of Saint Michael, Saint Matthew, the Tarasca and Mohamed, which led the Corpus processions in Medieval Spain, are elements of significance that allow to establish a set of possible relationships with images and events that come from the Mesoamerican mythological universe. Like in other cases, these constitute, in their turn odds and ends in a world of extinction from which only some iconographies survive in the form of stelae, some passages in the form of oral memory and some remnants of the ancient body of beliefs. Like the evangelization process, in which the circumstances impose a reduced and simplified model, the ancient body of beliefs will have to break up into pieces and bits which do not have a systematic relation among them anymore, to give place to fragmented images and episodes from which certain elements, capable of connecting with the Judeo-Christian iconography, are recaptured.

The articulation of elements, pieces and bits that come from dissimilar universes produces, however, a significant reorganization of the set, which does not correspond anymore to the original matrixes. This articulation, which is nowadays called “indigenous regions of Mesoamerica”, takes the form of a cultural matrix that creates structured sets using events, or rather residues of events. In this way it is explained that residual passages of the Conquest can been integrated to the execution of a dance or that specific elements of Hispanic Corpus processions can be articulated to residual elements of the Pre-Colombian world.29 The character of the stelae of Izapa, who blandishes an ax in the hand, undoubtedly maintains a correspondence with the image of Saint Michael the Angel when he severs the head of the dragon, and it is this correspondence at the level of sensory properties that allows ancient signifiers to be transformed into new meanings. It could be said, in the manner of Boas, that these “mythological universes are destined to be dismantled when hardly formed, so that new universes can be born from their fragments”.30

Even if the task of culture consists in disconnecting fields to reconnect them again, as affirmed by Michel Serre, the operations that give form to the new religiosity of the XVI century could only be guided by a similar principle which built significant universes from a group of limited materials. Like the Levi-Straussian bricoleur, the indigenous individual who emerges from the Colony operates with “what is at hand” and which constitutes, essentially, the odds and ends of Pre-Hispanic past and the fragmented images the new evangelizing enterprise makes available for him. In this case, it is not a matter of a mechanical mixture that reintegrates itself in a single formation of elements from dissimilar cultures, giving rise to a confusing and amorphous syncretism, but of a systematic articulation that allows to reorganize the sensory world into a new field of significance.

In fact, it is not unfounded that syncretic formations find in religion a privileged space to express themselves. Religious systems are, by definition, incomplete systems that operate as a puzzle where the pieces are distributed in different universes. These universes can sometimes be images, objects, discourses or events, but they always are odds and ends of what they represent. In the puzzle metaphor, the absence of certain pieces is not only substituted by oral history, mythological narration and reference to certain events, but also by “cultural borrowing”, which by this means fills in the blanks and allows to connect the chain of signifiers. Through the images of Saint Michael it is possible to establish intelligible connections between the characters that appear on the stelae of Izapa. The fact that these relationships do not correspond to the original motives does not alter the articulated character of the set, since the attributes of the patron saint, the snake head and the representation of thunder make part of a new discourse.

However, the limits of this set do not end at the local space. In the manner of a puzzle that expands, the pieces are distributed over a regional field that gives coherence and sense to local configurations. In this way, for instance, it is not possible to understand the sense of the snake dance of the Huaves without considering the dance of the titu among the Chontales from Oaxaca. The relationship between these two manifestations is not only one of spatial proximity, as Huaves and Chontales constitute neighboring groups, but one of logic connections, since Chontales translate the battle between the thunder and the snake into a combat between the reptile and Saint Michael the Angel. This transformation inevitably dialogues with the ritual representations of the Huaves. Both in the Hispanic and the Chontal versions, the figure of Saint Michael is one of the various scattered pieces that make up the puzzle scenario, forming parcels of sense that let us suspect a wider system of relationships.

Due to its own nature, the theory of syncretism presents the existence of original signifieds that adjust to new signifiers in situations of cultural contact. However, there are no “primary” signifieds, and the extension of a word or of another symbolic element is basically the same operation. Any use of a symbolic element is an innovative extension of the associations it acquires through its conventional integration into other contexts. The symbolic systems observed today among the Huaves during Corpus Christi celebrations are as far from the Pre-Hispanic world as they are from Medieval Spain, and their articulations answer to a logic that has stopped being subjected to time and space exigencies.

Some decades ago, when Evon Vogt examined the Zinacanteco rituals at the Altos de Chiapas, he noted that the history of Pre-Hispanic and Mediterranean religions truly explains the introduction of many ritual elements, but it does not explain what the rituals mean for these peoples nor why they keep on performing them as they do: “no matter what the primary origin of a ritual may be (Maya, Aztec, Spanish or syncretic), the rituals we observe today have a form and a coherence that are typically Zinacanteco, and the work of the researcher consists in deciphering the ordering principles of that coherence”.31

Under these circumstances, it is appropriate to ask ourselves up to what point it is nowadays convenient to examine the religious practices of indigenous peoples according to an external reference point, analyzing Pre-Hispanic or colonial elements of certain symbolic conformations. A procedure of this kind supposes to admit that indigenous religions are a sketch or a deviation of a central religion, when in fact they constitute articulated systems regulated by their own code. If we admit that religions are formations similar to languages, we are also forced to admit that the elements are not what make these formations alike or different, but the way in which each religion or each language combines and relates these elements. In this case, the difference of signifieds does not depend on the existence of a common or divergent origin, but on the way each signifier is linked to other symbols. Once the Mesoamerican bricoleur has started functions, nothing prevents Catholic celebrations, patron saints and Pre-Colombian gods from constituting the same universe of sense. The idea of syncretism is then revealed as the variant of a more general principle that alludes to the connection of signs or, even better, to the way in which different symbolic systems are articulated under rules that are never contingent, not even at the most intense moments of history vicissitudes.


Aguirre Beltrán, Gonzalo, Zongolica: encuentro de dioses y santos patronos, México, FCE, 1992.

Bradomin, José María, Oaxaca en la tradición, Oaxaca, Exlibros, 1960.

Báez-Jorge, Félix, Entre los naguales y los santos, Xalapa, Universidad Veracruzana, 1998.

Caro Baroja, Julio, El estío festivo: fiestas populares del verano, Madrid, Taurus, 1984.

Carrasco, Pedro, El catolicismo popular de los tarascos, México, SEP (SepSetentas), 1976.

De la Garza, Mercedes, El universo sagrado de la serpiente entre los mayas, México, UNAM, 1984.

Edmonson, Marc, “Nativism, syncretism and anthropological sciences”, en Nativism and Syncretism, New Orleans, 1960.

Estage, C., “Danza dialogada huave”, en Tlaxcala, vol. IX, 1982.

Foster, George, Cultura y conquista, Xalapa, Universidad Veracruzana, 1985.

Gruzinski, Serge, La guerra de las imágenes. De Cristobal Colón a Blade Runner, México, FCE, 1994.

Lévi-Strauss, Claude, El pensamiento salvaje, México, FCE, 1969.

___________, La historia del Lince, Barcelona, Anagrama, 1992.

Lupo, A., “El monte del vientre blando. La concepción de la montaña en un pueblo de pescadores: los huaves del Istmo de Tehuantepec”, en Cuadernos del Sur, 1991.

Navarrete, Carlos, “El complejo escultórico del Cerro Bernal en la Costa de Chiapas, México”, en Anales de Antropología, núm. 13, México, 1976.

Pastor, Rodolfo, Campesinos y reformas, México, El Colegio de México, 1989.

Peel, John Y., “Syncretism and religious change”, en Comparative Studies in Society and History, vol. 10, 1968, pp. 121-141.

Pitt-Rivers, Julian, “Presentación”, en E. Maurer, Los tzeltales, ¿paganos o cristianos?, México, Centro de Estudios Educativos, 1983.

Quiriarte, Jacinto, El estilo artístico en Izapa, México, UNAM-Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, 1973.

Redfield, Robert, Robert Linton y Melville Herskovits, “Memorandum on the study of acculturation”, en American Anthropologist, vol. 38, 1936, pp. 147-152.

Sahagún, Bernardino de, Historia general de las cosas de la Nueva España, México, Porrúa, 1969.

Sellner, A. C., Calendario perpetuo de los santos, México, Hermes, 1995.

Shaw, R. y Charles Steward, “Problematizing Syncretism”, en Syncretism and Antisyncretism, European Association of Social Anthropology, 1994.

Todorov, Tzvetan, La conquista de América. El problema del otro, México, Siglo XXI, 1987.

Van Zantwijk, Los servidores de los santos, México, INI, 1973.

Vogt, Evon, Ofrendas para los dioses, México, FCE, 1979.

Warman, Arturo, La danza de moros y cristianos, México, SEP (SepSetentas), 1972.

  1. Cfr. Marc Edmonson, “Nativism, syncretism and anthropological sciences”, in Nativism and Syncretism, 1960, pp. 183-203. []
  2. “Memorandum on the Study of Acculturation”, in American Anthropologist, vol. 38, 1936, pp. 147-152. []
  3. John Y. Peel, “Syncretism and Religious Change”, in Comparative Studies in Society and History, vol. 10, 1968, pp. 121-141. []
  4. Cfr. Claude Lévi-Strauss, La historia del Lince, 1992, p. 250. []
  5. R. Van Zantwijk, Los servidores de los santos, 1973, p. 178. []
  6. Pedro Carrasco, El catolicismo popular de los tarascos, 1976, p. 199. []
  7. C. Estage, “Danza dialogada huave Olmalndiüc”, in Tlalocan, vol. IX, 1982. []
  8. A. Lupo, “El monte de vientre blando. La concepción de la montaña en un pueblo de pescadores: los huaves del Istmo de Tehuantepec”, in Cuadernos del Sur, 1991. []
  9. A. Warman, La danza de moros y cristianos, 1972, p. 70. []
  10. José María Bradomin, Oaxaca en la tradición, 1960, p. 100. []
  11. George Foster, Cultura y conquista, 1985, p. 335. []
  12. Bernardino de Sahagún, Historia general de las cosas de la Nueva España, 1969. []
  13. Julio Caro Baroja, El estío festivo: fiestas populares del verano, 1984, p. 72. El subrayado es nuestro. []
  14. Ibidem, p. 68. []
  15. Carlos Navarrete, “El complejo escultórico del Cerro Bernal en la costa de Chiapas, Mexico”, in Anales de Antropología, num. 13, 1976, p. 23. []
  16. Ibidem, p. 27. []
  17. Idem. []
  18. Jacinto Quiriarte, El estilo artístico en Izapa, 1973, p. 43. []
  19. Mercedes De la Garza, El universo sagrado de la serpiente entre los mayas, 1984, pp. 152-153. []
  20. C. Lévi-Strauss, El pensamiento salvaje, 1969. []
  21. A. C. Sellner, Calendario perpetuo de los santos, 1995, p.337. []
  22. C. Lévi-Strauss, El pensamiento salvaje, 1964, pp. 36-37. []
  23. Cfr. C. Lévi-Strauss, La historia del Lince, 1992, p. 250. []
  24. Báez-Jorge, Félix, Entre los naguales y los santos, 1998. []
  25. Serge Gruzinski and Carmen Barnand, De la idolatría: una arqueología de las ciencias religiosas, 1992, p. 94. []
  26. Tzvetan, Todorov, La conquista de América. El problema del otro, 1987, p. 95. []
  27. Serge, Gruzinski, La guerra de las imágenes. De Cristóbal Colón a Blade Runner, 1994, p. 144. []
  28. Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán, Zongolica: encuentro de dioses y santos patronos, 1992, p. 106. []
  29. During the dance of the Snake executed by the Huaves, to which we have made previous reference, some dialogues from the Biblical tradition are introduced, which have led some researchers to think this is a reproduction of the combat between David and Goliath. []
  30. Referred to at Lévi-Strauss, op. cit., 1969, p. 41. []
  31. E. Vogt, Ofrendas para los dioses, 1979, p. 14. []

Los comentarios están cerrados.