Folklore | Latino Folklore
F315 | 11945 | J. McDowell


The US Latino population has swelled in recent years to become a
significant presence here, but Latino culture is surprisingly
unfamiliar to most Americans. This may be due in part to the fact
that Latinos in the United States do not fit into a homogeneous
group. Normally defined by their country of origin, Latinos
transcend boundaries of race, religion, and social class. We find in
the Latino group Caribbeans of African descent as well as Native
Americans from Mexico, Central America, and the Andes; evangelicals
as well as Catholics; doctors and lawyers as well as workers in
factories and fields; people of Asian and European background as
well as descendents from the Spaniards who first came to the New
World.

This class will attempt to make this important population more
familiar by examining the expressive, creative, and artistic
activities that are flourishing in Latino communities, with emphasis
on music and dance, speech play and verbal art, food and festival,
and healing and spirituality. The focus is on how practices and
beliefs from the countries of origin are adapted to the reality of
life in the United States, and on how these communities adopt the
cultural resources of this country and make them their own. We will
examine Latino folklore both as a survival strategy and as pathway
towards an appreciation of life’s deeper meanings.

Fulfills COLL A&H, CSA