Dancing for the Saints in the Time of Covid-19: Responses to the 2020 Lockdown in Central Mexico
Keywords:Mexico, coronavirus lockdown, media, devotional dances, popular religion
AbstractDuring religious feasts in the Teotihuacán and Texcoco regions northeast of Mexico City, people ‘dance for the saint,’ often to fulfill a vow made in a supplication for healing. Based on fieldwork carried out between 2011 and 2019, and online interviews and monitoring of Facebook postings in late 2020 and early 2021, in this article we explore the impact of the coronavirus on the devotional dances staged in the context of religious feasts. In particular, we examine the cases of new practices adopted during the lockdown. Drawing on Jeremy Stolow’s (2005) concept of “religions as media,” we show how a combination of digital and in-person media make it possible for local Catholic communities to maintain the relationship with their patron-saint during the pandemic, based on the principle of do ut des, “though differently.” We conclude by raising questions concerning the future of the devotional dances and religious feasts in these regions as pandemic restrictions entered their second year.
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Copyright (c) 2021 David Robichaux, Jorge Martínez Galván, José Manuel Moreno Carvallo
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.