Ritual Imports: Performing Medieval Drama In America
Claire SponslerISBN: 0801442958;
Book DescriptionThroughout the Americas, performances deriving from medieval European rituals, ceremonies, and festivities made up a crucial part of the cultural cargo shipped from Europe to the overseas settlements. In 1583, Sir Humphrey Gilbert sailed from Plymouth England to Newfoundland, bringing with him "morris dancers, hobby horses, and Maylike Conceits" for the "allurement of the savages" and the "solace of our people." His voyage closely resembled that of twelve Franciscan friars who in 1524 hadarrived in what is now Mexico armed with a repertoire of miracle plays, religious processions, and other performances. These two events, although far from unique, helped to shape initial encounters between Europeans and indigenous peoples; they also marked the first stages of the process that would lead?by no means smoothly?to a distinctively American culture. Ritual Imports is a groundbreaking cultural history of European performance traditions in the New World, from the...
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