Our spring sale is on! Use promo code SPRING24 at checkout to save 50% on any order!

A unique in-depth study of a culture-specific approach to Indigenous dramaturgy that challenges Eurocentric ideologies

Table of contents

Notes on Contributors
Foreword…Forward:  Earth Divers in the House of Balu Wala (Jill Carter)
Prologue:                          Verbing Art (Monique Mojica)
Chapter 1                         Mola Dulad Agbanaed (Living Mola Moving): Reclamations, Reenactments and Creating an Embodied Script
Chapter 2                         Dule Wagan Reading Molas (with Sue Patricia Haglund and Gloria Miguel)
Chapter 3                         The Road to Gunayala
Chapter 4                         Working Process for Mapping Embodied Performance (with José A. Colman and Sue Patricia Haglund)
Chapter 5                          The Making of Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way: Towards a Culturally Specific Dramaturgy (Ric Knowles)
Chapter 6                          Scoring the Body: The Mola Dulad as Movement Score
Chapter 7                          Intersections: Pattern Literacy, Metaphor and Mapping
Chapter 8                          Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way – Vocal Script
References Cited


This volume documents the creation of Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way, a play written and performed by Monique Mojica with collaborators from diverse disciplines.  Inspired by the pictographic writing and mola textiles of the Guna, an indigenous people of Panama and Colombia, the book explores Mojica’s unique approach to the performance process. Her method activates an Indigenous theatrical process that privileges the body in contrast to Western theater’s privileging of the written text, and rethinks the role of land, body, and movement, as well as dramatic story-structure and performance style.  

Co-authored with anthropologist Brenda Farnell, the book challenges the divide between artist and scholar, and addresses the many levels of cultural, disciplinary, and linguistic translations required to achieve this. Placing the complex intellect inherent to Indigenous Knowledges at its center, the book engages Indigenous performance theory, and concepts that link body, land, and story, such as terra nullius/corpus nullius, mapping, pattern literacy, land literacy, and movement literacy. Enhanced by contributions from other artists and scholars, the book challenges Eurocentric ideologies about what counts as “performance” and what is required from an “audience,” as well as long-standing body-mind dualisms.

Monique Mojica is an independent actor, playwright, dramaturg, theater instructor, lecturer, and artist-scholar.

Brenda Farnell is Professor of Socio-Cultural & Linguistic Anthropology and American Indian Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

“The centering of molas and of Guna epistemologies, the radically de-colonial ways in which contributors came to the piece, and the deep process of vigilance and protection that went into the creation of Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way are all deeply provocative and form a much-needed intervention in the fields of theatre, dance, and performance studies, as well as Indigenous and anti/post-colonial studies.”
—Julie Burelle, University of California San Diego

- Julie Burelle

“The scholarship is groundbreaking in the innovative way that perspectives are linked and put in dialogue with each other. This book makes an enormous contribution, paying careful attention to the cultural contexts in which the creative methods are deployed to ensure that the method and cultural aims match up.”
—Ann Elizabeth Armstrong, Miami University of Ohio

- Ann Elizabeth Armstrong