David Allan Rodgers DAVID ALLAN RODGERS

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Mana

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Abstract

CAVALCANTI, Maria Laura Viveiros de Castro. Myth and variants on the death and resurrection of the ox in Brazil.Translated byDavid Allan Rodgers. Mana [online]. 2006, vol.2Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0104-9313.

The folguedos do boi, or ox revelries, have challenged generations of scholars. In the literature, they have been mainly apprehended as the performance of an original short popular drama. The problem is that the supposed drama has rarely been directly observed. The first part of the text argues that the belief in the so-called ox drama expresses a remarkable crystallization of the illusory effect of archaism, an ideological and analytic premise typical of this area of studies that assigns ancient origins to folklore and popular culture. The supposed original ox-drama is here placed in a new context that understands it as a set of origin narratives that blossomed in the 1950s’ wake of Brazilian folkloric studies. The second part of the text analyses nine variants of the ox’s death and resurrection narratives adopting a structuralist-inspired approach that demonstrate the mythic nature of this dynamic symbolic process. In the concluding remarks, I seek to rethink the relations between myth and ritual that emerge from this new understanding of the ox revelries.

Keywords : Myth; Ritual; Ox Revelries; Structural analysis; Origin narratives.

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