The Soul of the Festival: Order, Rituals, Street Food, and State Power Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Espitia, Jonathan
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Anthropology
  • The rise of Peruvian cuisine as a way of re-branding the nation’s image follows closely the rise of implementing neoliberal policies to spur economic growth. The Peruvian government has focused its attention on regulating informal markets and creating hyper-ordered spaces in festivals held in the capital city, Lima. An understanding of recent Peruvian history and the violence and aftermath of the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) is necessary for understanding why food has taken on such a seminal role in forming Peruvian identity. This thesis delves into understanding why food is a vital aspect of the festival in Peru. It does so by engaging with the literature on festivals and rituals as performed by public actors and the state. It engages with the question of what it means for a ritual to be successful and likewise what it means for it to be a failure, within the frameworks of two large festivals, Mistura in Lima and Inti Raymi in Cuzco. This thesis re-centers the humanity present in festivals and encourages state actors to look beyond the economistic lens and towards an anthropological one. Food is the soul of the festival and focusing on economic growth and formality stifles that very soul.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Middleton, Townsend
  • Colloredo-Mansfeld, Rudi
  • Babb, Florence
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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