Zoila Mendoza’s book, which complements her previous work Shaping Society through Dance: Mestizo Ritual Performance in the Peruvian Andes, constitutes a passionate defense of the study of folklore as an individual and collective field of creative activity. She shows that artistic expression is a suitable way to comprehend the social experience of practitioners of music, dance, and theater. Starting from the cultural postulates of Raymond Williams, Mendoza posits that no separation exists between the affective elements of consciousness, that is, feelings, and social and ideological thought. Rather, both concepts are equivalent and interrelated, so that folkloric expressions must be studied as autonomous realities and not as simple reflections of social processes. Mendoza proposes that the heterogeneous folkloric activity that flowered in the city of Cuzco between the decades of 1920 and 1950 inspired a creative revaluation of Incaism, indigenism, and mestizaje. This cultural view allows her to conclude...

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