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Title: Living with saints : women's relationships and experience in daily life in Lake Pátzcuaro (México)
Author: Carro-Ripalda, Susana
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis deals with the relationships and interactions of Purhepecha women with significant others, including holy beings (saints, Virgins and Christ's, all of which are called santitos), in quotidian contexts and life-cycle situations. The research for the thesis took place in the island of Jaracuaro in the lake Patzcuaro, Central-West Mexico. This tiny island is inhabited almost exclusively by Purhepecha people, the indigenous population of the region. Daily life in Jaracuaro is significantly organised by gender and focused, in many respects, on domestic groups. The main argument of this thesis is that women interact and have meaningful relationships with the santitos much in the same way they do with relatives and neighbours. Saints, Virgins and Christs are present in houses, and women communicate and interact with them frequently about a variety of quotidian, domestic and personal concerns. These interactions include specific forms of physical contact, exchange and contextual perceptions (of gender, of position, of relationship, of capacity) and, due to their continuity, constitute relationships between the women and the santitos as personal as those taking place between the women and their relatives and neighbours. The capacity of santitos as significant social agents and the perceptual reality of their reciprocal intercourse make it possible for the women to dynamise processes of personal experience, as it happens in the interactions between people. These personal experiences are, in form and content, understood and shared by others, but they are also intensely personal and allow for changes in perceptions, actions and realities. Theoretically, my work touches upon several issues: it takes a critical look at the conceptualisations of the figure of Saints in the anthropological literature of Latin America, particularly focusing on the representations of saints as "symbols", and at the consequences of interpreting saints as objects and not as agents.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available