This article is focused a shrine of the Virgin Mary in the village of Alcala de los Gazules in the Southern Spanish region of Andalusia, a region known for its Marian devotion. Many villages contain their own shrines dedicated to a local Virgin in which the universal Mary is present in a localized, vernacular statue form. As a powerful instantiation of Mary, the Virgin of Alcala has received attention from outside the immediate area due to her many miracles; she is known to be especially helpful when curing infertility. The whole of the shrine complex, its presence, status, and role as sanctuary for devotees and pilgrims, is significant to understanding how shrines work. By analysing the shrine as an "architectural body" comparable in some ways to the Maori wharenui, and by looking at the working familial relationships that surround and emerge from it, I illuminate the shrine as a zone pregnant with ontological possibilities in which human and non-human persons engage with each other in real space and time.


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pp. 212-230
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