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Global Cholas: Reworking Tradition and Modernity in Bolivian Lucha Libre

Haynes, N; (2013) Global Cholas: Reworking Tradition and Modernity in Bolivian Lucha Libre. The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology , 18 (3) 432 - 446. 10.1111/jlca.12040. Green open access

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Abstract

This article examines indigenous women wrestlers (luchadoras) in La Paz, Bolivia, and the ways in which they creatively use tourists’ assumptions that they are “traditional” peoples performing in “exotic” events. Since 2001, indigenous women have participated in lucha libre—a form of wrestling that draws its lineage from wrestling in Mexico and the United States. Travelers often assume it represents a traditional form, however, because the luchadoras base their wrestling personas and costuming on chola market women. I explore how the luchadoras utilize these perceptions and the resulting media attention to claim cosmopolitan identities. Not only do they gain social status and mobility, but they also see themselves as positive representatives of Bolivian women for a global audience. / Este artículo examina las mujeres luchadoras en La Paz, Bolivia, y cómo éstas usan creativamente los supuestos por parte de los turistas de ser “tradicionales” y de que están actuando en eventos “exóticos.” Desde 2001, mujeres indígenas participan en la lucha libre —una forma de lucha procedente de México y los Estados Unidos. Sin embargo, los viajeros, a menudo, asumen que es una tradición porque las luchadoras se presentan con los trajes de las cholas vendedoras. En este artículo exploro cómo las luchadoras utilizan esas percepciones y la atención resultante de los medios de comunicación para reclamar identidades cosmopolitas. Con ello no solo mejoran su posición y ganan movilidad social, sino también se ven a sí mismas como representantes de las mujeres bolivianas ante un público global.

Type: Article
Title: Global Cholas: Reworking Tradition and Modernity in Bolivian Lucha Libre
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/jlca.12040
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jlca.12040
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1452363
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