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Embodied ProtestsEmotions and Women's Health in Bolivia$
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Maria Tapias

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039171

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039171.001.0001

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Anxious Ambitions and the Financing of Tranquility

Anxious Ambitions and the Financing of Tranquility

(p.76) 4 Anxious Ambitions and the Financing of Tranquility
Embodied Protests

Maria Tapias

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the uneven terrain of economic success in Punata by focusing on the experiences of members of a group of more prosperous career chola and mestiza market women. In particular, it explores how these women sought to mitigate their fears of envy and sorcery through their religious devotion to an image of Saint James known as “Tata Bombori,” regarded as the patron saint of healers and sorcerers. The chapter begins with a discussion of how concerns about envy and sorcery and the risks they pose to health influenced local embodied understandings of emotional distress in Punata. It then considers the negative connotations of ambition and how public displays of ambition were viewed with ambivalence in Punata. It also provides an overview of the religious pilgrimage to Bombori and its accompanying rituals, showing that devotees perceived it as a way to obtain protection for their entrepreneurial activities as well as an “investment” toward future tranquility.

Keywords:   economic success, Punata, women, envy, sorcery, religious devotion, ambition, religious pilgrimage, Tata Bombori, tranquility

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