Camila Marones

Doctoral Research Project: The place of ritual: dialogues and continuities between sacred spaces in rural Andean evangelization of the 18th century

The 18th century was shaped by an intense idolatry extirpation in the Viceroyalty of Peru, in which many of the quechua and aymara communities of the Andean high plateau consolidated a hybridized religiosity. This hybrid was a mixture of catholic beliefs and practices with the traditions of each locality of the pan Andean region. Evidence is present today in religious and daily customs of various Andean towns, as well as in the historical remains of temples and sacralized objects. The ceremonies celebrated in the interior of the churches by priests (that even now are only temporarily passing by) are complemented with rituals executed in the exterior: processions and other customs are carried out in the temple’s atrium, the town’s plaza and calvary or up the nearby hills and mountains. This way landscapes, as a mean of social organization and as support for the local collective memory, hold an active dialogue with many local catholic temples and their colonial ornamentation, designed to differentiate the sacred interior of the earthly exterior. These buildings visibilize a cultural imbrication on the uses of landscapes, promoted by an active agency of the Christianized localities and/or evangelization strategies based on allegories of nature. Thus, this research proposes that by studying comparatively mural paintings, documented festivities and ethnographic legends, we can find a performative codification for better understanding Andean identities. Our main focus is on two South-central Andean temples: the Sanctuary of Copacabana de Andamarca (Oruro, Bolivia) and the Church of San Andrés de Pachama (Arica y Parinacota, Chile). To study the past from an intermedial point of view, that includes landscapes as part of a visual culture, is a complex means of historical analysis and allows us to rethink the ceremonial bonds between man, nature and art, with the specificities of the Andean context.



2011-2012       M.A. in Art Theory and History. Faculty of Arts, University of Chile. Thesis title: “Eternal Glory and Fertility for the Chacras. Mural paintings of the Sanctuary of Copacabana de Andamarca. Bolivia, 18th century”

2004-2007       B.A. in Hispanic Language and Literature. Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities, University of Chile.


2015         “New Paradises, the paintings of the Sanctuary of Copacabana de Andamarca.” VIII Congreso de la Asociación de Estudios Bolivianos. Sucre, July 20-24

2015         “Pomegranates in the Altiplano. An iconographical problems in the murals of the Sanctuary of Copacabana de Andamarca, Bolivia.” VIII Encuentro Internacional sobre Barroco “Mestizajes en diálogo”. Universidad Católica San Pablo, Arequipa, June 9-12

2014         “Nature and Image in the  Evangelizatiin: perspectives from the ‘Moralized Chronicle of the orden of  Saint Agustine’ by Antonio de la Calancha.” Conversatorio de Arte Colonial. Barroco y Rococó en misiones, doctrinas y conventos. Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, December 11th

2014         “Flowers and Flowervases: nature and evangelization in the Andean 18th century.” Anual Congress ADLAF: Naturalezas globalizadas – perspectivas latinoamericanas. Asociación Alemana de investigación sobre América Latina, Berlin, Germany, June 26-28

2014         Conference “Hells and flowers: evangelization and mural paintingin Colonial Bolivia.” Museo de América, Madrid, Spain, May 30th

2013         “Ornament and meaning in Charcas mural paintings: vegetable Representation.” 7° Congreso de la Asociación de Estudios Bolivianos, Sucre, Bolivia, July 29 – August 1st


2016         “Granadas en el altiplano. Un problema iconográfico en los muros del Santuario de Copacabana de Andamarca, Bolivia.” (“Pomegranates in the Altiplano. An iconographical problema in the walls of the Sanctuary of Copacabana de Andamarca, Bolivia). In: Actas del VIII Encuentro Internacional sobre Barroco “Mestizajes en diálogo”. (To be published)

2016         “Ornamento y significación en la pintura mural colonial: la representación vegetal en iglesias rurales de Oruro.” (“Ornament and meaning in colonial mural painting: vegetable representation in rural churches of Oruro”). In: Iberoamericana, n° 61. Instituto Ibero-Americano (Berlín), GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies (Hamburgo) y Editorial Iberoamericana/Vervuert (Frankfurt am Main/Madrid). (To be published)

2013         “Pintura mural en la Iglesia de Carabuco, apuntes para su estudio.” (“Mural painting in the church of Carabuco, notes for its study”). In: Matas Musso, Josefina (Ed.) Un recorrido por Carabuco, Universidad Católica Boliviana “San Pablo”, Centro Internacional para la conservación  del Patrimonio (CICOP Bolivia), La Paz, 2013, pp. 73-85

2012         “Pasiflora mística. Análisis iconológico de una pintura barroca de la Virgen de la Merced.” (“Mystical Passionflower. Iconological Analysis of a Baroque Painting of the Virgin of Mercy”). In: Aisthesis, Revista Chilena de Investigaciones Estéticas, nº 52, Santiago, diciembre 2012, pp. 261-282

2012         “Kuka, Achuma y Vilca: mito e imagen de plantas sacras andinas.” (“Kuka, Achuma and Vilca: myth and image of Andean sacred plants”). In: Anales de Historia de la Medicina, Vol. 22 (1-2) noviembre 2012, Sociedad Chilena de Historia de la Medicina, Santiago, pp. 13-34