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date: 28 October 2020

Agustín Lorenzo: Beloved Bandit of History and Folklorelocked

  • Liliana Toledo GuzmánLiliana Toledo GuzmánEscuela de Teatro, Danza y Música, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos

Summary

Agustín Lorenzo was a prototypical social bandit, according to Eric Hobsbawm’s definition in his studies of that phenomenon. As a bandit from south central Mexico believed to have lived between the 18th and 19th centuries, the exploits of Agustín Lorenzo have been recounted in myriad ways: myths, legends, loas, corridos, films, carnival representations, among others. Lorenzo is said to have stolen from the rich to give to the poor, swearing to avenge his grandfather’s mistreatment at the hands of his employer, the local landowner. To achieve his mission, the story goes, Lorenzo made a pact with the devil, to obtain supernatural powers. The attributes of this bandit undoubtedly place him in the same category as the great body of stories about banditry that have survived for centuries around the world, particularly considering their shared essence: a desire for justice. In the case of Agustín Lorenzo, it is possible to disentangle the universal principles Hobsbawm established regarding the phenomenon of social banditry from the local context in which this particular myth lives on. Hence, to analyze the myth of Agustín Lorenzo, it is essential to explore the narratives and meanings of the cosmogony of the Nahua peoples of south-central Mexico.

Subjects

  • Latin American History
  • Latin American History
  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Social and Cultural History
  • History of Gender and Sexuality
  • Revolutions and Rebellions

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