Computer Simulations
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Computer Simulations

s and almost comical

. But for the folklorist
interested in a biologic unders
tanding of the roo

ts of human cultural expression, there is no moment more dangerous than when he is moved to laugh at popular practices that strike him as comical. To laugh at the comical element in ethnology is wrong, because it instantly shuts off insight into the tragic element. At San Ildefonso-a pueblo near Santa Fe which has long been under American influence-the Indians assembled for the dance. The musicians gathered first, armed with a large drum. (You can see them standing, in Figure 10, in front of the Mexicans on horseback.) Then the dancers arranged themselves into two parallel rows and assumed the character of the antelope in mask and posture. The two rows moved in two different ways. He insinuates himself into an animal form not out of fun but, rat

her, to wrest something magical from nature through the transformation of his person, something he cannot attain by means of his unextended and unchanged personality. The simulated pantomimic animal dance is thus a cultic act of the highest devoti

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