Chicano Folklore

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Chicanos and Chicanas, or Mexican Americans, are deeply rooted in the cultures of African, European, and Native American groups. The richness of Chicano culture is especially evident in such folklore genres as myths, tales, legends, traditional beliefs, songs, games, and riddles. Written especially for high school students and general readers, this book is an introductory guide to Chicano folklore. It defines and classifies the folklore, provides numerous examples and texts, discusses the presence of Chicano folklore in literature and popular culture, and reviews scholarship and criticism.

Written expressly for high school students and general readers, the volume classifies and defines Chicano folklore and provides background information on the historical contexts in which Chicanos have thrived. It also provides numerous examples and texts from various folklore genres and discusses the importance of Chicano folklore to literature and popular culture. In addition, it reviews scholarship and critical approaches and closes with a bibliography and glossary. This book will help students appreciate America's cultural diversity as they learn about the fascinating traditions of this important ethnic group.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[C]hicano Folklore, edited by Maria Herrera-Sobek, uniquely synthesizes the history of Chicanos in the United States by drawing on a tripartite cultural heritage that encompasses Indigenous, European, and African influences brought into explicit dialogue through folklore….The author's remarkably accessible and vibrant text explicitly uses the social and cultural histories of Mexican-descent communities in the United States to elucidate phases of intertextual creativity, culminating in the celebration of a hybrid Chicano identity. Not bound by purely print resources, Herrera-Sobek offers readers access to multiple, varied research tools including film, online resources, an extensive bibliography, and a glossary of terms that facilitates access to this rich body of primary and theoretical resources to those without Spanish language skills."


Journal of Folklore Research

"Herrera-Sobek has been researching and writing about Chicano folklore since the 1970s. Here she introduces the history, context, genres, and definitions related to the study. Abundant examples of folk songs (including the ten-strophe poem and the drug-smuggling ballad), proverbs and jokes, children's songs and games, and folk theater are presented in both English and Spanish. Additionally, the author discusses folk belief, costumes, dance, medicine, ailments, art, and food in the politically conscious Chicano culture."


Reference & Research Book News

"Written for high school students and general readers….[a] comprehensive handbook divided into five chapters, including an introduction, definitions and classifications, examples and texts, scholarship and approaches, and contexts….This book will help students appreciate America's cultural diversity as they learn about the fascinating traditions of this important ethnic group."


Multicultural Review

"María Herrera-Sobek's Chicano Folklore is an engaging piece of scholarship. . . . María Herrera-Sobek has written, edited, co-edited, and contributed to numerous works on Chicano/a literature and folklore (see bibliography below). This latest offering extends a long trajectory of high-caliber research and writing."


Western Folklore

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313333255
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2006
  • Series: Greenwood Folklore Handbooks Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 354
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

MARIA HERRERA-SOBEK holds the Luis Leal Endowed Chair in Chicano Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her many books include The Bracero Experience: Elitelore versus Folklore (1979), The Mexican Corrido: A Feminist Analysis (1990), and Northward Bound: The Mexican Immigrant Experience in Ballad and Song (1993). In addition, she has edited numerous anthologies and published more than a hundred articles.

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Table of Contents



Definitions and Classifications

Examples and Texts

Scholarship and Approaches




Web Resources


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