The folkloric costumes and processions presented during the carnival celebration in the Black Forest town of Elzach have been much studied and honored by German folklore scholars and enthusiasts. Yet carnival in Elzach consists of much more than these folkloric displays. The festival also includes a series of original, text-based performances intended primarily for reception by local residents. The costumed folkloric events and the original performances form two distinct sets of enactments within the three-day celebration, each emerging in response to different historical developments and contemporary impulses. A close reading of the performed texts reveals their role in constructing local identity.

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