Date of Award

Winter 2-23-2018

Degree Type

Honors Thesis


International Studies

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Brian Dowd-Uribe


Religious practices impact how people construct their sense of identity and belonging, and Peruvian Andean religious practices are based in the sacred landscape and local saint fiestas. When Peruvian Andeans migrate away from their communities in the Andes, their religious practices are altered because they are based in the sacred landscape and local saint fiestas. The deterritorialization of these religious practices influences how Peruvian Andean migrants then construct their sense of identity and belonging in the spaces where they have moved. This research examines how religious practices venerating local saints as well as sacred landscapes can be reterritorialized and how these reterritorialization practices inform Peruvian Andean migrants’ sense of identity and belonging in the United States. The investigation uses five ethnographies of Peruvian Andean migrants’ religious practices in Peru and the United States to look at how Peruvian Andean migrants construct identity and belonging based on these case studies and previous literature on identity and religion. Some of the reterritorialization strategies that Peruvian Andean migrants use include travelling back to Peru for local saint fiestas, organizing local saint fiestas from the United States and in the United States, and watching fiesta videos. Another strategy is using objects blessed by the saints or the sacred landscape in religious practices in the United States. Using these strategies, Peruvian Andean migrants are still able to identify with their Andean communities, but they also forge a new sense of belonging to a community of deterritorialized worshippers in the US.