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Marimba: Dance of the Revolutionaries, Dance of the Folk

Marimba: Dance of the Revolutionaries, Dance of the Folk Page 77 Katherine Borland n the wake of the 1979 Sandinista revolution, Nicaragua experienced an artistic explosion. The Sandinista government, dedicated to dismantling the country’s rigid class system that had reserved the rights to artistic recognition for a privileged few, celebrated and cultivated the creative potential of ordinary people. While much of this cultural activity represented new, revolutionary forms of expression, the government also supported an incipient folklore revival.1 Folk dance displays, which prominently featured the indigenous-identified baile de la marimba (marimba dance), proved an accessible vehicle for uniting the various regions of the country in a shared national identity and for demonstrating the nation’s unique character to the world. Within this revival, however, tensions quickly developed. Regionally based performers resisted the representations of “the people’s culture” that a Managuabased group of culture workers produced. For instance, the city of Masaya, which lies about thirty miles southeast of Managua, had long enjoyed a reputation as the cradle of Nicaraguan folklore, due largely to the presence of a historically identified indigenous community at its southern edge called Monimbó. Since at least the nineteenth century, Monimbó had constituted a center for crafts and festival arts. Despite the democratization of cultural http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Radical History Review Duke University Press

Marimba: Dance of the Revolutionaries, Dance of the Folk

Radical History Review , Volume 2002 (84) – Oct 1, 2002

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2002 by MARHO: The Radical Historians' Organization, Inc.
ISSN
0163-6545
eISSN
1534-1453
DOI
10.1215/01636545-2002-84-77
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Page 77 Katherine Borland n the wake of the 1979 Sandinista revolution, Nicaragua experienced an artistic explosion. The Sandinista government, dedicated to dismantling the country’s rigid class system that had reserved the rights to artistic recognition for a privileged few, celebrated and cultivated the creative potential of ordinary people. While much of this cultural activity represented new, revolutionary forms of expression, the government also supported an incipient folklore revival.1 Folk dance displays, which prominently featured the indigenous-identified baile de la marimba (marimba dance), proved an accessible vehicle for uniting the various regions of the country in a shared national identity and for demonstrating the nation’s unique character to the world. Within this revival, however, tensions quickly developed. Regionally based performers resisted the representations of “the people’s culture” that a Managuabased group of culture workers produced. For instance, the city of Masaya, which lies about thirty miles southeast of Managua, had long enjoyed a reputation as the cradle of Nicaraguan folklore, due largely to the presence of a historically identified indigenous community at its southern edge called Monimbó. Since at least the nineteenth century, Monimbó had constituted a center for crafts and festival arts. Despite the democratization of cultural

Journal

Radical History ReviewDuke University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2002

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