Detalle Publicación

Symbolic Use of Dress-Related Ritual in English and Spanish Oral Traditions
Libro: Inhabiting the Meta Visual: Contemporary Performance Themes
Lugar de Edición: Oxford
Editorial: Inter-Disciplinary Press
Fecha de publicación: 2016
Página Inicial - Final: 115-128
ISBN: 978-1-84888-532-5
Resumen: Oral poetry has always been associated with performance. That is not to say some way along the process of creating/re-creating and singing a ballad, the songs can also bear printing. However, the role of the performer is crucial for any scholar to be able to classify a particular poem as 'oral.' 1 The fact that costume may be considered performative and meaningful has recently taken on vital relevance, as contemporary research demonstrates, e.g. Peter McNeil's revision of Roland Barthes's views on the semiotics of fashion. 2 Before that, some authors had already claimed that clothes might be a mechanism through which we 'fabricate our selves.' 3 At the same time, discussing ritual usually entails an anthropological approach, in the sense that orality makes use of oral and gestural signs. 4 In this chapter, I will argue that dress-related ritual in the ballad universe is of outmost importance and worth a detailed account. Taking a look at how these oral traditions are permeated by the symbolism of such rites, I claim that there must be a connection between now and then. Thus, if the poems are still being sung, so should the rituals be alive. In order to test my hypothesis, I will employ socio-cultural semiotics together with New Historicist readings, offering an encompassing overview that aims to be multidisciplinary. The way that characters perform dress-related rituals affects what the audience perceives, which could significantly vary depending on the geographical context. Quite tellingly, the listeners, far from being passive recipients, in turn influence the ballad, having an actual historical impact on the narrative. Undoubtedly, the performativity of dress is here inexorably linked to the story-making process.