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ERIC Number: ED528401
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 281
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-4976-1
Words Spoken with Insistence: "Wak'as" and the Limits of the Bolivian Multi-Institutional Democracy
Cuelenaere, Laurence Janine
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
Building on 18 months of fieldwork in the Bolivian highlands, this dissertation examines how traversing landscapes, through the mediation of spatial practices and spoken words, are embedded in systems of belief. By focusing on "wak'as" (i.e. sacred objects) and on how the inhabitants of the Altiplano relate to the Andean deities known as "wak'as," this dissertation links spatial practices with the larger power structures and historical forces shaping belief in the Bolivian highlands. My fieldwork found conflict and violence on both the interpersonal and the structural. In order to develop this argument I demonstrate how people's lives and communities are embroiled with and affected by "wak'as." Conversations, drawings, maps, transcriptions, and linguistic evidence provide the materials that enable me to understand and document the role that belief plays in observing objects charged with spiritual agency. This material reveals spaces of affect that are linked to the use and appropriation of the Spanish word "creencia" in the Aymara spoken lexicon. In Aymara, the word "creencias" has two fields of meanings. On the one hand "creencia" shares the Spanish sense of superstition as dismissal; on the other hand, "creencia" refers to the force and fear of "wak'as." The relationship to "wak'as" and speaking about them, thus, defines diverse modes of believing in the power of "wak'as" as to either harm or benefit an individual or a community. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Bolivia