The Creation of a National Identity: Etiquette, Dress, and Food in Nineteenth Century Mexico
Cintora, Etydria Airam
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In 1839 Frances CalderÃ³n de la Barca arrived in Mexico along with her husband who was appointed ambassador to Spain. During her two year stay, Marchioness Frances wrote about her experiences throughout the Mexican landscapes; unknowingly her letters, Life in Mexico: During a Residence of Two Years in that Country (1843) recount the making of a new Mexican national identity. After the Mexican Independence in 1821 the Mexican people were defining who they were as a new nation. Their identity could be derived from their indigenous ancestors or from the Spaniards whom they had just become independent from. What she observed was a melting and modification of Spanish and indigenous culture to encompass the needs of the Mexican people. This new ‘mexicaness’ is prominent in the etiquette, dress and food of XIX century Mexico.