Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Hispanic Studies


Juan Luis Suárez


This thesis focuses on an analysis of the religious world of colonial Potosí through the study of the rituals and miracles described in the History of the Imperial City of Potosi written by Bartolome Arzans de Orsua y Vela in the first half of the eighteenth century. After a detailed reading of the text, this works proposes a schema to understand the basic but repetitive ritualistic cycles that organize the life in the city and uses tools such as Topic Maps and the modelling system called NetLogo to visualize the social and cultural networks that give life to the narration. The objective is to represent part of the cultural system of Potosí through these cycles of rituals and miracles, unearth the supporting social networks and question the assumed idea about this chronicle as being a clear representative of the new "criollo" subject. As shown in the conclusions, the history of Potosí is to a great extent the history of a varied set of social and ethnic groups, who are part of a permanent process of pro-sociality in which rituals and virgins play the role of linking the different groups.