7155 - Tetlayeyecalhuiliztli: Nahua Performance through Linguistic Evidence

The aim of this paper is to provide an insight into pre-Hispanic Nahua theatrical forms through the analysis of the Nahuatl terms related to cultural performances. This work takes as a starting point the descriptions of the wide range of 'paratheatrical' spectacles that constituted an integral part of religious rituals, representations that accompanied secular ceremonies and public shows of ludic character, registered in native alphabetic texts, in order to gather the Nahuatl names that convey these phenomena. The compiled Nahuatl terminology corresponding to the aforementioned examples of pre-Hispanic performative art will be subject to a contextual analysis and compared with material from the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Nahuatl dictionaries, as well as with Spanish terms applied to the indigenous representations. The study of the corpus of Nahuatl nomenclature related to this subject reveals how the native theatrical forms got verbalized. Furthermore, the comparison of the obtained results with the vocabulary rooted in the Old Continent, used by colonial chroniclers and authors of ethnographis accounts in reference to the pre-Hispanic performances, will help to highlight the cross-cultural dialogues between pre-conquest and colonial realities and to track the influence of the European categories on the perception of the indigenous spectacles.

Palabras claves: Nahuatl language, theater, performance

Autores: Brylak, Agnieszka (University of Warsaw, Poland / Polen)


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