American Studies ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-21-2020


This dissertation is an ethnographic study which examined the ritual performances of an interconnected Mexican American and Mexican immigrant danza Azteca and curanderismo ceremonial community located in central and northern New Mexico, and central México. This project also explored if and how these rituals recognize the practitioners’ indigeneity. As a Mexican American and Native scholar and ceremonial participant of this community, I provided an “insider’s” understanding of the epistemologies and ontologies that inform these ceremonies. My positionality and methodology acted as a lens to critically examine danzantes’ and promotoras tradicionales’ claims of indigeneity. Importantly, this work provides a fluid conceptualization of indigeneity that moves beyond stipulations of blood quantum, and ahistorical perceptions of Indigenous identity that do not account for the ways in which peoples of Mexican and Indigenous ancestry have been affected by modernity.

Project Sponsors

Department of American Studies; Center for Southwest Research, Latin American and Iberian Institute; Center for Regional Studies; El Centro de la Raza; Student Career Services; Graduate Student Success Scholarship; Chicana and Chicano Studies




Chicano, Identity, Indigeneity, Ceremony, Ritual Performance

Document Type


Degree Name

American Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

American Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Michael L. Trujillo

Second Committee Member

Kathleen Holscher

Third Committee Member

Manley Begay Jr.

Fourth Committee Member

Patrisia Gonzales


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