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Religions 2019, 10(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020076

Gender and Space during Guatemala’s Holy Week: An Ethnographic Account

Instituto de Investigación y Proyección sobre Diversidad Sociocultural e Interculturalidad, Universidad Rafael Landívar, Guatemala 01016, Guatemala
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 16 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 23 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion in Latin America, and among Latinos abroad.)
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Abstract

At midnight of Sunday, 9 April 2017, the Sunday known as Palm Sunday during Holy Week (Semana Santa), the streets of Guatemala City were packed with parishioners, passers-by, and strollers watching the procession of Jesús Nazareno de los Milagros, “King of the Universe”. The procession’s itinerary takes almost eighteen hours to complete and it is one of the most popular processions among Catholics in Guatemala. What was I, a female anthropologist taking notes and pictures, doing as part of the entourage of the image of Jesus? The question is not gratuitous because this specific space, namely, the entourage itself, is reserved exclusively for male bearers, the so-called cucuruchos. This ethnographic incursion took place within the framework of an ongoing research project on the construction of gender subjectivities in urban religious spaces in Guatemala City, a project that attempts to answer larger questions on the various processes of subject formation within religious spaces. In this article, however, I will focus exclusively on the construction of gender subjectivities during the celebration of the Holy Week in Guatemala City. This paper discusses how a religious space can be analyzed as a “place of encounter” that will intensify social relations coming from beyond, and going beyond, the processional space itself. View Full-Text
Keywords: gender subjectivities; urban religious spaces; Holy Week in Guatemala; Catholic Brotherhoods and Associations; Religious festivities gender subjectivities; urban religious spaces; Holy Week in Guatemala; Catholic Brotherhoods and Associations; Religious festivities
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Ponciano, K. Gender and Space during Guatemala’s Holy Week: An Ethnographic Account. Religions 2019, 10, 76.

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