Civic ImaginationMain MenuThe Big Map: an Overview of the Civic ImaginationThe Big Map of Civic Imagination all over the worldNon FictionReal World Instances that inspire Civic ImaginationPopular Culture/FictionalCharacters, stories and fictional universes that resonate with communities and inspire actionMyth and FolkloreStories from cultures around the world that inspire Civic ImaginationReligiousStories based in faith and religionsMigrating the StoriesExplore the Big Map and then remix Imagination by migrating stories to new localesContributorsPeople who contributed stories to the projectGabriel Peters-Lazaro3bc3965831120bc593545fef6d0da73657e21ea0Emilia Yang0306ec8482b0946a4ad881acf758effb11741533
12016-06-08T19:53:48-07:00Emilia Yang0306ec8482b0946a4ad881acf758effb1174153391991Representación de El Güegüense (Wikipedia Commons)plain2016-06-08T19:53:48-07:00Emilia Yang0306ec8482b0946a4ad881acf758effb11741533
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12016-06-08T19:56:37-07:00Güegüense3Nicaraguan Folk Talegoogle_maps2016-06-08T20:03:01-07:0012.226706, -86.213290
El Güegüense (also known as Macho Ratón) is a satirical drama and was the first literary work of post-Columbian Nicaragua. It is regarded as one of Latin America's most distinctive colonial-era expressions and as Nicaragua's signature folkloric masterpiece combining music, dance, theater and religion.
The Güegüense describes himself as a businessman who travels the different colonial territories of Mexico and Central America with fine goods. His children are his assistants. For some, the Güegüense is a hardworking and successful businessman who does not want to pay taxes to the government imposed by the Spanish crown. For others, the Güegüense is a tricky trader, who makes use of his thousand tricks to dupe the Spanish authorities that not only manages to avoid paying taxes, but also marry one of his sons with the governor’s daughter.
Because deception for monetary gain is central to the plot of "El Güegüense", the play frequently is cited by newspaper editorials as a kind of symbolic archetype for perceived corrupt politicians or unaccountable public institutions. But I also see it as a symbol of indigenous resistance versus the colonizing traditions as well as a satire against any form of power. I got close to this tradition because it is performed on the streets of my city during the traditional religious parties of the town and my mom has a role helping to keep this tradition alive. In an interesting way the Gueguense also crosses religions, classes and cultures.