The Politics of Folklore: 1900–1930

  • Fiona Wilson
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)


In Tarma, Adolfo Vienrich’s pioneering works on folklore established a tradition that later local intellectuals would try to follow. His perspective had been framed by discussions with comrades of the Literary Circle and Unión Nacional on how to create a “national spirit,” first through literature and then through the study of folklore. But the earlier associations of folklore with the past would shift ground in Andean provinces (López 2008). Contributing to this were changes taking place in province-state relations. As the public sphere contracted and political debate was smothered, the cultural field was reconstructed as more inclusive and became more politicized. Popular culture has been conceived as “a space or series of spaces where popular subjects, as distinct from members of ruling groups, are formed” (Rowe and Schelling 1991: 10). This means that alternative political identities, positions, and narratives are expressed and kept alive and are seen as becoming particularly important under authoritarian regimes and political repression. Popular culture therefore retains a potential to become transformative and transgressive, to spill over into the political field, as well as to comment and subvert what is happening in the realm of formal politics.


Popular Culture Colonial Rule Indigenous Civilization Political Project Literary Circle 
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  1. 2.
    Quoted in an article by Abelardo Gamarra, La Integridad, No. 752, December 19, 1903. cultural practices.Google Scholar

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© Fiona Wilson 2013

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  • Fiona Wilson

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