African Performance in the Feast of St. Francis Xavier in Seventeenth-Century Luanda, Angola

Authored by: N. Edwards Margit

The Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138726710
eBook ISBN: 9781315191225
Adobe ISBN:


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A carnival tradition from Pernambuco State in the northeast of Brazil, Maracatú is most popular in the cities of Recife and Olinda, with origins in the King of Kongo ceremonies held by enslaved Africans on the plantations. Through an examination of a Jesuit chronicle, this chapter establishes a dramaturgical link between a seventeenth-century Catholic procession commemorating the beatification of St. Francis Xavier in the port city of Luanda, Angola, with the twentieth-century parading tradition of Maracatú, thereby revealing a society in the process of transculturation that lay the foundation for these traditions in the Americas today.

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