Indigenous beauty pageants can be seen as a way of re-appropriating indigenous identity. This article approaches beauty pageants as being situated in multiple systems of power at four levels of contestation: (1) reproducing gender relations and creating new professional and political opportunities; (2) constituting a site for cultural and political agency and delimiting the ways to 'be a Maya woman'; (3) reproducing class relations in terms of access to the event and contributing to social awareness of beauty queens; (4) as a social event consolidating (gender) relations within the family. The findings are based on longitudinal (2002-14) ethnographic fieldwork in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
- Beauty pageants
- Indigenous identity