"Por nuestra cultura hablarán nuestros libros. Our books shall speak for our culture."
¡LOTERÍA! Origins & Practices of the Mexican Bingo. By Gloria Arjona. ISBN: 978-1-951088-13-2 Library of Congress Control Number: 2020950088 6”x 9”, Color Illustrations 119 pgs. $23.95. Bilingual Edition.
Known as “The Mexican Bingo,” La Lotería is a tradition passed on from one generation to the next for many Mexican and Central American descendants. Its eye-catching and provocative images are frequently recreated by artists worldwide, and scholarly research on this topic is quickly growing. Moreover, it is an inclusive game, where players do not need any particular skill to play. The connoisseurs enjoy the rhymes and riddles that accompany each image during a traditional game. Thanks to this visual and verbal connection, as well as to the rich cultural context in which these images were created, La Lotería is an excellent pedagogical tool, not only for vocabulary acquisition but for gender and racial studies, since it includes characters that exemplify the three main racial groups in Colonial Mexico: The Indigenous, the European, and the African.
¡Lotería! The Origins and Practices of the Mexican Bingo explores the history and development of each of the 54 images included in the most popular version, La Lotería El Gallo, paying particular attention to its nine characters. This book emphasizes the importance of the narrative component and the card announcer’s crucial role during the game. Finally, this book compiles the most popular rhymes and riddles that accompany each English and Spanish card.
Gloria Arjona holds a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Southern California and teaches Spanish language and literature at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Arjona’s research interests are in Mexican history, popular culture, and music. Among the themes, she has explored extensively in the music in the visual work of Frida Kahlo, the participation of women in the Mexican Revolution, and the literary work of José Guadalupe Posada. She recently published by this artist Posada’s Unknown Calaveras (Floricanto Press, June 2020) in the Mexican Revolution. As Dr. Arjona asserts, José Guadalupe Posada is present in all these themes.