AbstractThis is an attempt to understand the ritual processes of HolyWeek, by dividing them into phases and sub-phases, as well as toanalyse a variety of transformations in the ritual processes whereinsome processes are emphasized by particular societies until theimplications that the processes try to convey deviate from thePassion Play, the original theme of the Holy Week rituals. Thispaper also attempts to locate my data on the Mixe Holy Weekrituals in the broad perspectives of Mesoamerican ethnography.Most communities described in Mesoamerican ethnographiesperform each phase of the Holy Week rituals (usually lacking theCarnival), without giving special emphasis to any particular phase.This is a type of the simple presentation of the Passion Play. Thetypical case is cited from the Mixe Holy Week performances whichI observed in 1973 and 1974, in the highland Mixe villages ofOaxaca, Mexico. The second type is a variant of the first one. The simplepresentation is elaborated and enriched with ritual elements suchas characters and ritual performances in which the details of thePassion Play are re-enacted meticulously. Examples for this typeare found in economically and culturally developed communitiessuch as Yalalag, Mitla, Tzintzuntzan, Tome (New Mexico),Chichicastenango, and Chinautla. In this type, the penitente, theCarnival, and the dualism between Christ and Judas, are addedto the "flat" presentation of the Passion Play, although none ofthe three elements is accentuated in the flow of the total ritualprocesses. This type suggests three possibilities of transformingthe "flat" presentation of the Passion Play.The first type of transformation is possible by an emphasis onthe penitente rituals, as reported from MichoacAn, and the hispaniccommunities in New Mexico, where the penitente brotherhoods formerlyfunctioned as mutual help organization in their isolated ruralcircumstances.The second transformation is realized by emphasizing theCarnival rituals. Syntagmatically, this phase precedes to therituals during the Holy Week per se, but paradigmatically theCarnival rituals are a dramatic highlighting of what is performedon the days between the Psalm Sunday and the Sunday of Resurrection.The cases cited are from the highland and lowlandMaya communities, where indio-ladino tensions are reflected in theCarnival ritual performances bearing a Christ-anti-Christ theme.Urban cases of the Carnival, cited from Dominica, Andalusia andothers, lack a Christian theme, and the Carnival is performed asthe "ritual of reversals" [TURNER 1978] in which actual classrelationships are ritually reversed.The third transformation is an emphasis on dualism. Cora,Mayo, and Yaqui ethnographies offer rich data on this transformation.Here, Christian images of the Holy Week performancesare overshadowed by the dualistic orientation and images inherentin their native cultures.Thus, syntagmatically the so-called Holy Week rituals showa long series of phases and sub-phases, but paradigmatically thepresentations of penitence and dualism are their main purpose.The two variations (types 1 and 2) and the three transformationsdescribed above reflect the social situations and symbolic structuresinherent in the native societies, which functioned to incorporate theHoly Week rituals into their own ritual systems. The mainpurpose of this article is to describe and analyse these variations andtransformations and to decipher the implications which they tryto convey.
TypeDepartmental Bulletin Paper
国立民族学博物館研究報告 = Bulletin of the National Museum of Ethnology, 4(4), 666-708(1980-03-25)