Strangely enough, Tabasco still remains one of the Mexican Federation States less studied by national and international contemporary historians. By the way, for historical, cultural and anthropological reasons, this is one of the most interesting region of a pluricultural country as Mexico. During the post-revolutionary season, when the Federal government tried to settle down political instruments and to enforce its institutional system, Tabasco started to live a peculiar period of its history. The general confrontation between State and Church (started in new terms during the Obregón presidence and developed in an open crash with his successor Plutarco Elías Calles), was extremized in Tabasco by the action of a strong governor like Thomás Garrido Canabal. He was the leader of a transforming project of the public institutions that invested several fields: political, educational, cultural, economical and legislative; at the same time he was the champion of the «defanatic action» - against the catholic power and tradition - promoved by his «racionalist» leagues (basically teachers and political agents) who tried to transform Tabasco in a «radical laborathory» (as general Cárdenas should had called it) of the revolution But at the same time this tropical Mexican State offered various original elements with wich the «garridista» project had to confront; among these particularly strong was the indigenous presence, minoritarian in the Villahermosa area but still strong in the forest parts of the sierra at the border of Chiapas and in the swamps of Chontalpa. The indigenous world of Tabasco, in different ways for chol and chontal ethnic groups, offered an eterogeneus answer to the modernization projects and the march of garridista policy of national incorporation of the «raza de bronce» to the national culture. On of the field of the indigenous assimilation, the defense of religion resulted one of the most interesting and forgetted form of cultural resistance: expression of a plural world that Bonfil Batalla brilliantly named «México profundo». The cases of «idolos escondidos» and the rejecton of the «fiestas laicas» promoved by the government were a prerogative of the most isolated chol communities, not absorbed in the rural circle of «escuelas racionalistas» nor deeply touched by the anticlerical propaganda. This represented a not well known world, grand-son of the tradition of mayan costumbre and influenced by an historical lack of secular priest and by an heritage of a primordial francescan evangelization. In this world, culturally and physically very far from the rural areas of central Mexico involved in the cristeros war (where the priest was a central figure), still lived ancient forms of defense of a sincretic tradition, expressed through ancient mayordomías and closed devotional systems (the cult for the Lord of Tila and the celebrations of the día de la cruz). In this particular contest, during the last part of the Twenties, started the experience of Gabriel García, known as the «indio Gabriel», an indigenous chontal, who started in his native village, around Macuspana, a new religious experience, divided between evangelization and pacific resistance. When the Garrido policy left the State without catholic priests (only father Macario, famous for a Green novel, was visiting the State in secrecy), this indian catechist tried to substitute the official clergy, offering an original pastoral, educational and sacramental service. In this local experience were linked expressions of the religious rural indigenous concept of the world with the action of a modern laical movement like the Apostolado de la oración, giving life to a new form of contemporary syncretism, as a pacific form of cultural resistance. This particular case, tragically conclused and almost forgotten in the Mexican historiography, offers today the possibilities to look from different point of view the dynamics of popular religiosity, the role of catechist in indigenous southern communities, the silent strategies of cultural defense and the development of incorporative actions in an age that anticipated the born of an official Mexican indigenistic policy. Gabriel García, «el indio Gabriel» for white and mestizo people, «el maestrito» for his indigenous citizens, was the son of a double identity, born in a particular region of a country still in arms and that was hardly looking at its memory, trying to build the nation after the experience of the revolution.

"El Indio Gabriel": New Religious Perspectives among the Indigenous in Garrido's Canabal's Tabasco (1927-1930), 2007.

"El Indio Gabriel": New Religious Perspectives among the Indigenous in Garrido's Canabal's Tabasco (1927-1930)

De Giuseppe, Massimo
2007

Abstract

Strangely enough, Tabasco still remains one of the Mexican Federation States less studied by national and international contemporary historians. By the way, for historical, cultural and anthropological reasons, this is one of the most interesting region of a pluricultural country as Mexico. During the post-revolutionary season, when the Federal government tried to settle down political instruments and to enforce its institutional system, Tabasco started to live a peculiar period of its history. The general confrontation between State and Church (started in new terms during the Obregón presidence and developed in an open crash with his successor Plutarco Elías Calles), was extremized in Tabasco by the action of a strong governor like Thomás Garrido Canabal. He was the leader of a transforming project of the public institutions that invested several fields: political, educational, cultural, economical and legislative; at the same time he was the champion of the «defanatic action» - against the catholic power and tradition - promoved by his «racionalist» leagues (basically teachers and political agents) who tried to transform Tabasco in a «radical laborathory» (as general Cárdenas should had called it) of the revolution But at the same time this tropical Mexican State offered various original elements with wich the «garridista» project had to confront; among these particularly strong was the indigenous presence, minoritarian in the Villahermosa area but still strong in the forest parts of the sierra at the border of Chiapas and in the swamps of Chontalpa. The indigenous world of Tabasco, in different ways for chol and chontal ethnic groups, offered an eterogeneus answer to the modernization projects and the march of garridista policy of national incorporation of the «raza de bronce» to the national culture. On of the field of the indigenous assimilation, the defense of religion resulted one of the most interesting and forgetted form of cultural resistance: expression of a plural world that Bonfil Batalla brilliantly named «México profundo». The cases of «idolos escondidos» and the rejecton of the «fiestas laicas» promoved by the government were a prerogative of the most isolated chol communities, not absorbed in the rural circle of «escuelas racionalistas» nor deeply touched by the anticlerical propaganda. This represented a not well known world, grand-son of the tradition of mayan costumbre and influenced by an historical lack of secular priest and by an heritage of a primordial francescan evangelization. In this world, culturally and physically very far from the rural areas of central Mexico involved in the cristeros war (where the priest was a central figure), still lived ancient forms of defense of a sincretic tradition, expressed through ancient mayordomías and closed devotional systems (the cult for the Lord of Tila and the celebrations of the día de la cruz). In this particular contest, during the last part of the Twenties, started the experience of Gabriel García, known as the «indio Gabriel», an indigenous chontal, who started in his native village, around Macuspana, a new religious experience, divided between evangelization and pacific resistance. When the Garrido policy left the State without catholic priests (only father Macario, famous for a Green novel, was visiting the State in secrecy), this indian catechist tried to substitute the official clergy, offering an original pastoral, educational and sacramental service. In this local experience were linked expressions of the religious rural indigenous concept of the world with the action of a modern laical movement like the Apostolado de la oración, giving life to a new form of contemporary syncretism, as a pacific form of cultural resistance. This particular case, tragically conclused and almost forgotten in the Mexican historiography, offers today the possibilities to look from different point of view the dynamics of popular religiosity, the role of catechist in indigenous southern communities, the silent strategies of cultural defense and the development of incorporative actions in an age that anticipated the born of an official Mexican indigenistic policy. Gabriel García, «el indio Gabriel» for white and mestizo people, «el maestrito» for his indigenous citizens, was the son of a double identity, born in a particular region of a country still in arms and that was hardly looking at its memory, trying to build the nation after the experience of the revolution.
Inglese
Butler Matthew
225
243
19
978-1-4039-8381-7
978-1-4039-8381-7
United States
New York
comitato scientifico
internazionale
A stampa
Settore M-STO/04 - Storia Contemporanea
Settore SPS/05 - Storia E Istituzioni Delle Americhe
1
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10808/7281
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