Religion and the Community

in The Life Within

Published by Stanford University Press

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780804781374
Published online June 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780804784993 | DOI:
Religion and the Community

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This chapter deals with the worship of patron saints and other nonhousehold saints, confraternities, ritual kinship, and funerals, all aspects of religion that, although often starting in the house, imply the participation of the community or corporate element. Toluca Valley testators express their devotion to a patron saint in various ways, but one aspect is common to the great majority of them: this devotion falls within the realm of the corporation, literally or figuratively, while the household remains the prerogative of the family saints, and the two realms are in some ways remarkably separate. The cofradías are considered from the point of view of individuals mentioning them in testaments, highlighting features different from those typical of the literature on sodalities. Ritual kinship is also seen through the lens of individual choices, and testaments identify some intriguing aspects of what being a compadre or comadre meant for the indigenous people of the Valley. Funerary practices reveal an interesting mixture of Spanish and indigenous traits, as well as some of the best examples of local habits and subregional variation. The chapter ends with some inquiry into the religious beliefs of the indigenous people of the Valley.

Keywords: worship; patron saints; ritual kinship; funerals; religion; indigenous people; cofradías

Chapter.  14390 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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