Power and Pilgrimage

Dealing with Class, Gender and Ethnic Inequality at a Bolivian Marian Shrine

By Sanne Derks

Power and Pilgrimage is an in-depth anthropological study of life at a Bolivian pilgrimage site. It focuses on the experiences of pilgrims and how, in their Marian devotion, they express and learn to live with the various inequalities they experience in everyday life. Issues of poverty and class inequality lead them to approach the Virgin of Urkupina to support them in their quest for economic betterment. Another social inequality that comes to the fore is based on gender: in particular Bolivian women seek Mary's support to deal with violence and oppression in their homes. Finally, ethnic inequalities are discussed by analysing the dance processions in honour of the Virgin, since these reflect contested ethnic identities.


232 pages

Publication Date: 5/22/2009
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9783643900142