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March 11, 2002


Olga Najera-Ramirez

Olga Najera-Ramirez, an associate professor of anthropology, has coedited a new book about Chicana expressive culture. Chicana Traditions: Continuity and Change (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2002) features the work of Chicana professors, students, performing artists and folklorists, archivists and museum coordinators, and community activists.

The book blends narratives of personal experience with more formal scholarly discussions. Contributors reveal the ways in which women continue to invent, reshape, and transcend their traditional culture, examples of which include the quinceanera, the coming-of-age celebration of young Latinas, the indita form of Mexican song, and the legend of La Llorona, the weeping or wailing woman who haunts the shores of rivers and lakes.

In addition to coauthoring the introduction, Najera-Ramirez contributed an essay about the escaramuza charra, the all-female precision riding team that emerged in the 1950s and has become an integral part of the male-dominated charreada, or Mexican rodeo. Najera-Ramirez coedited the book with Norma E. Cantu, a professor of English at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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