By James Griffith
The place it divides Arizona and Sonora, the foreign boundary among Mexico and the us is either a political fact, actually expressed via a fence, and, to a substantial measure, a cultural phantasm. Mexican, Anglo, and local American cultures straddle the fence; humans of assorted ethnic backgrounds circulation backward and forward around the synthetic divide, regardless of expanding stumbling blocks to unfastened circulate. On each side is located a fancy cultural mixture of ethnic, non secular, and occupational teams. In A Shared area James Griffith examines the various distinct folks expressions of this diversified cultural zone.
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Additional resources for A Shared Space: Folklife in the Arizona-Sonora Borderlands
This is not unusual; another craftswoman I visited told me that she knew how to reproduce 16 different kinds of flowers, while a third distinguishes five different stages of rose blooms alone! It took this woman less than five minutes to go from a sheet of red paper to a finished, partly opened rose. This artist produces a greater volume of coronas than does the first woman I mentioned, and sells to customers as far away as California and Texas. Her prices are somewhat higher than those quoted above.
In their treatment of this artist's work, Coulter and Dixon speculate that he might have had an influence on the Magdalena tradition. ,terial from Magdalena casts a shadow of doubt over this theory, however. Historical antecedents for the reverse painted frames seem to go back in North America at least as far as the mid-nineteenth century, when reverse painting on glass was a popular middle-class craft in the United States. Patterns were published for the paintings, just as they were-and are--for quilts, and American housewives of the Victorian era produced stilllifes, landscapes, and idealized portraits of such dignitaries as Abraham Lincoln.
Members of this same intellectual community, many of whom are also involved in one way or another with radical politics, are perpetuating yet another mainstream Day of the Dead custom-the political calaveras with their cartoons and satirical verses. The calaveras I saw in Nogales, Sonora, in 1984 were accusatory rather than satirical and were directed at corrupt politicians, brutal police, and similar institutional targets. They were published anonymously. These are the major ways in which the classic Day of the Dead observances of mainstream Mexico are present in Nogales, Sonora.
A Shared Space: Folklife in the Arizona-Sonora Borderlands by James Griffith