De las liturgias del poder al poder de las liturgias: para una antropología política de Chile colonial


  • Jaime Valenzuela Márquez Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile


Power, a vague and ambiguous concept, can be defined as a vertical practice of domination effected through different but interactive channels. This article discusses a specific field of action: "collective persuasión". Persuasive strategy is seen as a mechanism which, appealing to sensitive psychological elements, takes on a political function by helping to create a "belief" in the legitimacy of the power system, in feeding an eventual fascination for authority and, in broader tems, in providing a subjective ground to the fears, emotions and affections which uphold the acceptance of the underlying ideologies.

From an "historical anthropology" perspective, and in the context of Colonial Spanish America, the public lithurgies associated with power -ceremonies, rites, celebrations, "civil" and religious festivites- are seen as one on the most elabórate fields of this persuasive strategy.

This proposition is grounded on a broad theoretical discussion, on a revision of the historical literature on the subject and a case study: the celebrations for the monarchy in a peripherical province such as Chile.