Destination Lake Pátzcuaro
Creating a Tourist Attraction with an Island and Night of the Dead
This chapter focuses on the transformation of Night of the Dead and the island of Janitzio into touristic and folkloric attractions and iconic referents of authentic indigenousness during the 1920s and 1930s, referring to processes of site sacralization. The role of Lázaro Cárdenas, Governor of Michoacán, the building of a statue on Janitzio, and dissemination through still photography, films, and other textual material are analyzed. Policies of integration, assimilation, and indigenismo, as well as certain strategies to achieve them, are discussed, followed by consideration of the ethnic and racial delineation of P'urhépecha characteristics. Finally local initiatives for performances of Dance of the Old Men by Lake Pátzcuaro residents are outlined.
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