This thesis explores the concept of Social Murder among the indigenous populations of Aridoamerica as a performatic act reflected in three rituals of the northeast of Mexico. Exploring the multiple and contradictory facets of syncretism, I intend to reveal how the ideological, religious, and physical trauma caused by the Spaniards against Native Mexicans has resulted in complex indigenous performances and cultural practices that continue to transmit a two fold meaning: collective memory and resistance, as much as resignation to social death and defeat.
Luminarias, Fidencism, and Hikuri are the performances investigated establishing a discursive corpus, proposing a permanent, necessary relation between researchers and the performances of the Aridoamerican desert. This relation will, from the perspective of performance studies, allow a new conception of the way of life and the cultural processes that have developed in those places; as well as the evidence and remains of a tangible culture that testifies of these societies with a social and technological organization from a remote age. I propose these ritualistic performances of the desert as a factor that will ease the immersion into the knowledge of the present through performances that hold within them collective knowledge, which gives a culturally identity to peyote people, here, where the desert and its ever-changing boundaries are essential for comprehending their life, society, and permanence in the Aridoamerican and Oasisamerican territories of Mexico.
These performances, characteristic of northeastern Mexico, embody their memory, manifesting itself through expressive behavior, as Silent Acts. They constitute the native source of knowledge that is preserved and transmitted orally as the record of syncretic practices of Indigenous, African, Judaic, Christian, and Creole populations. These rituals are a means of recovery, and therefore, a collective reconstruction of said memory, contributing to the development of a local identity for northeastern Mexico. With my analysis, I hope to clarify through the concept of Social Murder the overlap in the different knowledge systems: collective knowledge, crossbreeding-syncretism-hybridity, and the forced transition of an oral to a written tradition.