"Christ chose the donkey" (La Burriquita)
Left: Ceramic Relic, Right: Rear View,
10/31/2014 "La Burriquita on bart from West Oakland to Castro"
La Burriquita is a Venezuelan folk dance originally performed by a man dressed up as a woman riding a donkey. The Spaniards first introduced the tradition (tied to Christianity and meant to be evangelic) circa 1800 in Cubagua island; where it morphed into a masked pagan form thanks to African and native influences. The tradition is ambivalent. It caricatures a male body embodying feminine attributes: rearticulating machista constructs of gender identity; while it parades it around town: giving this expression visibility and articulating a form of queer folklore. I imported this local tradition into the gay capital of the world (San Francisco) during Halloween’s eve, bringing this tradition back from the death and simultaneously reclaiming its gay identity: steeped in contextual pride and historical shame.