Nahuatl puppet play

Frances Karttunen karttu at
Sat Jan 29 23:52:23 UTC 2000

Jean Charlot had a career in painting that began in his native France, move=
on to Mexico in the 1920s, and concluded in Hawai'i (and points beyond in
the Pacific).  His interest, from the moment he arrived in Mexico, was in
indigenous people, and he enjoyed deeply sympathetic friendships with
Nahuas, Maya, and Native Hawaiians.  During the "Mexican mural renaissance"
of the 1920s he was a colleague of Rivera, Siqueiros, Orozco, Weston,
Modotti, Brenner, and others.  Do=F1a Luz Jim=E9nez, the greatest Nahua writer
of the 20th century, was his preferred model and his cherished friend.

In the 1940s Charlot returned to Mexico as a Guggenheim fellow.  During the
course of two years he studied Nahuatl with Roberto Barlow and wrote a
puppet play in the language.

The text of Charlot's puppet play, Mowentike Chalman/Los Peregrinos de
Chalma and a critical appendix by me (in Spanish) now appear at the
following sites:

The text of the play:

My critical notes:  same except for charlotescritosapp instead of

The Charlot website at the University of Hawaii is beautiful and has many
excellent essays as well as reproductions of his art.  I recommend it.

Fran Karttunen

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