Ch. 7

7. Why Rosalba Fainted at her Wedding and other tales of Family, work and Globalization.

Introduces students to the contemporary social world of young adults with the tense beginning of a wedding procession where the bride faints from stress before the start of the 3 day marriage ritual. Incorporating a video of this wedding in 2006 and Rosalba’s seemingly content contemporary life in 2010, I explore how transformations of domestic and public spheres mark the end of an agriculturally focused campesino lifestyle.

icon_link_very_small icon_link_very_small Web Link and Video: Florentine Codex and Rosalba’s Wedding with student question

Florentine Codex

Friday, Feb 26, 2006, 7:45PM
My wife and I, having served as padrinos for Rosalba’s Quinceañera celebration, each put leafy coronas on our heads, grabbed a single white carnation in one hand and a lit candle in the other. This was the ancient greeting of respect marking every major family ritual – the corona a sign of status and respect, the flower opens the sense of smell and a candle to light the path to understanding. With the band playing we were led out by the eldest couple in Rosalba’s lineage while a great-aunt swung copal incense to spiritually purify the entourage. Together we marched to the visitors, placed our coronas on their heads, gave them the flowers and candles and escorted them to the family altar.

A similar scene of greeting ritual painted in the mid-16th century. Adapted from the Digital Edition of the Florentine Codex


Rosalba’s Wedding

Student Question

As you watch the video “Rosalba’s Wedding,” think about similarities and differences to wedding ceremonies you are familiar with and especially, how the marriage ritual itself binds or separates the couple with regard to broader kinship groupings and creates a cultural space for family formation and a pathway to late adulthood maturity.

icon_link_very_small PowerPoint: Kin charts of the Buena Vista Household 1998 and 2010

The following PowerPoint looks at kin charts of the Buena Vista household in 1998 and 2010. In especially, looking the kin links for 2010, in and out of Buena Vista, you can note some specifics: of the five households shown in any detail, four are multigenerational, extended households with a patrilocal residence pattern that involved movement of females into the male’s parent’s abode.

icon_link_very_small Video: Rosalba and Herardo at Work Together Making clothes

This short video clip of shows Rosalba and Herardo doing their textile production with their children playing around them. Actually, they were working temporarily in Buena Vista at the time, as there was a problem with the electricity in their own house.

icon_link_very_small PowerPoint: Campesinos, Elders and College Educated Youth

Alex is one of three brothers. The eldest Salomé (age 42) had gone to college in the state capital Toluca in a special program for bilingual educators. It was there he met his wife Antonia, also a student at the school. She had grown up in the eastern state of Veracruz in an area where many people also speak Nahuatl and now taught in a bilingual school in another nearby community. Salomé taught elementary school in Texcoco and was very involved with the promotion of bilingual education in the region. Pride in his indigenous heritage was shown in naming his two sons Nahuatl names after two famous Aztec rulers: Cuauhtémoc and Axayacatl.

icon_link_very_small Video: Families and Music

Many of the performance groups such as Vientos del Cerro (Chapter 1), are formed from age peers in a local patrilineage and sometimes from siblings or close relatives. When band members start families the music in most cases must be combined with other economic pursuits such as agricultural work, making clothing or having a small local store. Such was the case with the group “Los Liberales,” which you can see in a video below from a performance during 2003 at a dance in the town of Chiconcuac.

icon_link_very_small PowerPoint: Families, Kinship and the Formation of Music Bands

The core of this group is composed of four male siblings (ages 27 – 34) and a singer keyboard player who is the daughter of the eldest brother. Their kin links are seen in the PowerPoint below.