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The Republic of Panama is rich with folklore traditions which include as many different kinds of devils as there are provinces. Diablos sucios (dirty devils) and grandiablos (grand devils) can be seen in festivals across the country. Less visible are the diablos de espejo, or devils of the mirrors, which dance each year in the village of Escobal for the celebration of Corpus Christi. The dance movement performed throughout the day and the culminating drama which occurs in the local Catholic church at the end of day demonstrate a clear melding of African and Spanish colonial influences.


Elizabeth (“Libby”) Rhodes is the recipient of two Fulbright grants which have taken her to Panama and Bolivia. She holds an MFA in Dance from Mills College, a BA in Theatre Arts from Sonoma State University, and serves as an Associate Professor in the dance program at Stephen F. Austin State University. She thanks the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at Stephen F. Austin State University for the 1999 Faculty Research Award which facilitated this work.



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