Bailar con fe: Folkloric Devotional Practice in a Bolivian Immigrant Community
This article explores “folkloric devotional practice,” the intersection of religion and folklore, in Bolivian immigrant dance practice in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Focusing on both how dancers prepare for performances of la morenada in a local patron saint fiesta as well as a particular dancer’s interpretation of her experiences, it demonstrates how the legitimacy of enacting religion provides a means by which to challenge multiple material and symbolic exclusions from national Argentine society. Through preparation, dancers also negotiate new relationships and assess the proper ways that gendered roles should be performed. The intimacies and intense feelings that emerge through practice inform how individuals interpret exclusion and the suffering of dislocation while also constructing new belongings and elaborating their individual agency.