Accepted Paper:

The chapayeka ritual clown as a mediator between worlds  
Marianna Keisalo (Aarhus University)

Paper long abstract:

My research is focused on the chapayekas, ritual clowns who represent Judas in the Yaqui Easter ritual. Clowns could very well be described as "hybrid and metamorphic beings [that] emerge to participate in the performative re-making of reality". There are several realms or worlds involved in the ritual, which encompasses all parts of the Yaqui cosmology. The chapayeka is at the same time indigenous, Catholic, and Other. They wear masks that represent non-Yaqui humans, animals, monsters, mythical figures, and even characters from tv and movies. In this paper I explore the ways the chapayekas mediate between visible and invisible worlds and how this figures in the dynamics of the ritual. I also show how the chapayekas employ doubleness and dialectics in the forms and techniques as well as the contents of their performances. Joking and clowning simultaneously create alternative tropes, both of which participate in the meaning of the performance.

Panel W041
Global movement: dance, choreography, style