|Güegüense Theatrical Dance|
of Nicaragua brought a fusion of indigenous and Spanish cultural traditions.
Today, this mixed heritage can be seen in popular Nicaraguan folklore,
particularly, Güegüense theater and dance. The Güegüense
or Macho Ratón (brave mouse) is a masked, theatrical dance
that grew out of Spain's picaresque literary tradition. These satirical
narratives account the humorous adventures of a roguish hero (pícaro),
who tricks and outwits multiple masters. Güegüense drama reflects
this light-hearted and witty dialogue, encoded with double meanings. Its
artful parodies mock the concept of personal property.
During the Somoza dictatorship, Güegüense theatrical performances were restricted. After the collapse of the Somoza regime, this popular folkloric tradition was revived. Today, traditional Güegüense masks are made in the barrio of Morimbó near Masaya.
Credit: Claudia von Vacano, Learning, Technology and Design Program, Stanford School of Education. Revised by K. Stevens, Stanford Center for Latin American Studies, 7/14/00.