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Sports Culture in Latin American History

Sports Culture in Latin American History

EDITED BY DAVID M. K. SHEININ
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt14tqd0x
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    Sports Culture in Latin American History
    Book Description:

    Perhaps no other activity is more synonymous with passion, identity, bodily ideals, and the power of place than sport. As the essays in this volume show, the function of sport as a historical and cultural marker is particularly relevant in Latin America. From the late nineteenth century to the present, the contributors reveal how sport opens a wide window into local, regional, and national histories. The essays examine the role of sport as a political vehicle, in claims to citizenship, as a source of community and ethnic pride, as a symbol of masculinity or feminism, as allegorical performance, and in many other purposes.Sports Culture in Latin American Historyjuxtaposes analyses of better-known activities such as boxing and soccer with first peoples' athletics in Argentina,Cholitawrestling in Bolivia, the African-influenced martial art ofcapoeira,Japanese Brazilian gateball, the "Art Deco" body ideal for postrevolutionary Mexican women, Jewish soccer fans in Argentina and transgressive behavior at matches, and other topics. The contributors view the local origins and adaptations of these athletic activities and their significance as insightful narrators of history and culture.

    eISBN: 978-0-8229-8045-2
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-16)
    LAURA PODALSKY

    The summer 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will be a historic event marking the first time the games have been hosted by a South American country and only the second time that they have taken place in Latin America.¹ Also noteworthy was Brazil’s role as the site of the World Cup championship in the summer of 2014. Despite the heated debates surrounding the government’s immense expenditures, and despite the Brazilian team’s horrific loss in the semifinals, the 2014 tournament was the second time the country had been selected to host by FIFA.² Taken together, the 2014 World Cup and...

  2. 1 ROBERTO DURÁN, OMAR TORRIJOS, AND THE RISE OF ISTHMIAN MACHISMO
    (pp. 17-38)
    MICHAEL DONOGHUE

    November is an ambivalent month for Panamanian nationalists. November 3 marks the 1903 Panamanian Revolution, the bloodless struggle that won independence from Colombia and established Panama as a new nation. November 4 is celebrated as Flag Day.¹ But November also holds dark memories for Panamanians. November 18 was the cursed day in 1903 when Frenchman Philippe Bunau-Varilla, special envoy of the republic, signed a treaty with U.S. secretary of state John Hay that ceded the Panama Canal Zone to Washington “in perpetuity” with rights “as if sovereign.” The accord reduced Panama to a U.S. protectorate and created a state-within-a-state that...

  3. 2 FIGHTING ON THE EDGE: CHOLITAS LUCHADORAS IN BOLIVIA’S CHOLO REVOLUTION
    (pp. 39-60)
    KEN LEHMAN

    It is a Sunday in 2006 at the dilapidated Multifunctional Center (Multi) in El Alto. Dressed as a Boliviancholaorcholitain a knee-length full skirt (pollera), multiple petticoats, knit shawl, frilly blouse, and bowler hat perched over twin braids, Carmen Rosa enters the ring to face a woman in a formfitting gym suit, her hair in a modern bob. The audience is in full throat but the music drowns out most of the catcalls aimed at Ana La Vengadora (“The Avenger”), the woman in tights. Plastic bottles, chicken bones, and orange peels rain down on La Vengadora as...

  4. 3 NATURAL ATHLETES: CONSTRUCTING SOUTHERN INDIGENOUS PHYSICALITY IN LATE NINETEENTH-CENTURY ARGENTINA
    (pp. 61-83)

    During the late nineteenth century, creole Argentines preoccupied with national expansion into the southern pampas and Patagonia—Argentina’s southern frontier—developed an idea of indigenous physicality that envisioned southern indigenous peoples as natural warriors and hunters.¹ Indigenous groups including the Tehuelche of Patagonia and the Ranquel of the pampas were attributed with innate physical abilities in horseback riding,boleadora(Argentine cowboy’s equivalent to a lasso) hunting, and long-distance vision—traits that suited them perfectly to life in what creole Argentines saw as the untamed wilderness beyond the frontier. Creole Argentines linked what they perceived as the natural physical toughness of...

  5. 4 JAPANESE-BRAZILIAN CROQUET IN SÃO PAULO: ETHNIC IDENTITY, CONTESTATION, AND INTEGRATION
    (pp. 84-102)
    JOSHUA HOTAKA ROTH

    In the early morning light, elderly Japanese immigrants and their descendants gather in many public parks and sports centers that dot the vast undulating concrete surface of São Paulo. Most are dressed in white, men generally donning baseball caps and women wide-brimmed hats of straw or canvas. Some live within walking distance and come by foot. Others come by car, metro, or bus. They carry thermoses and lightweight coolers, plastic bags, and compact leather cases, which they place on tables or hang from the low branches of cherry trees surrounding level dirt courts fifteenby-twenty meters in dimension. Some go about...

  6. 5 PEOPLE OF THE BOOK OR PEOPLE OF THE (FOOT)BALL? ON THE PITCH WITH THE FANS OF ATLANTA IN BUENOS AIRES
    (pp. 103-120)
    RAANAN REIN

    A few years ago I happened to be in Buenos Aires during Pesach (the Passover holiday). Yume and Raquel, my wife’s cousins, invited me to their home for the traditional seder meal. Gathered around the table were Jews and non-Jews, Ashkenazim and Sephardim. The platters placed before us offered a combination of typical Argentine dishes and delicacies from the Eastern European Jewish kitchen, and foods that were kosher for Pesach along with non-kosher foods. Throughout the meal, in the background, the television set broadcast an important football (soccer) match. From time to time some of the guests, mostly but not...

  7. 6 BUILDING BODIES: CREATING URBAN LANDSCAPES OF ATHLETIC AESTHETICS IN POSTREVOLUTIONARY MEXICO CITY
    (pp. 121-138)
    AGEETH SLUIS

    From 1927 on, a statue of a robust indigenous woman greeted visitors at the entrance of the new Parque México in Mexico City. Shaded by high trees, the woman—pouring water from two large urns into a small pool of blue waters—beckoned passersby away from the hustle and bustle of the large new Insurgentes thoroughfare to a place where life was tranquil, easy, and uncorrupted by the toils of modernity. With her braids, her strong indigenous physique, and the blue waters and greenery around her, the statue represented an idyllic, pastoral landscape that weary city dwellers had come to...

  8. 7 BOXING IN THE MAKING OF A COLOMBIAN COSTEÑO IDENTITY
    (pp. 139-160)
    DAVID M. K. SHEININ

    Colombia National Soccer Team member Andrés Escobar was an infamous national figure even before his violent death, but thecachaco’s (from Bogotá) postmortem evinces the regional. In July 1994, Medellín cartel thugs with money on a Colombia-United States World Cup match a few weeks earlier shot Escobar. He had humiliated the nation on the world stage by putting a goal into his own net. His folly had cost his killers their bets. This goal had feminized the nation. If all of that weren’t reason enough, the killers murdered Escobar because they could. In doing so, they made sure Colombians understood...

  9. 8 FROM “MORAL DISEASE” TO “NATIONAL SPORT”: RACE, NATION, AND CAPOEIRA IN BRAZIL
    (pp. 161-182)
    KATYA WESOLOWSKI

    In 1878, Rio de Janeiro’s chief of police condemned capoeira as “one of the strangest moral diseases of this great and civilized city” and launched a war of repression against its male practitioners, most of whom were lower class and of African descent.¹ Seventy years later, the president of Brazil, Getúlio Vargas, proclaimed capoeira to be “the only truly national sport.”² In August 2013, I attended the ninth Abadá-Capoeira Jogos Mundiais in Rio de Janeiro. These biennial “world games,” held since 1995 by one of the world’s largest capoeira associations, bring together teachers and their students from nations as diverse...