ABSTRACT

Throughout Latin America, and also many other parts of the world, a common theme informing peasant narratives is different kinds of pact in which the recipient obtains the power of the devil in exchange for a soul. The analysis of these narratives is not a mere cultural curiosity; rather, it is a useful way of gaining an insight into how peasants understand and give meaning to the social order in which they live and the social change they experience. Such an approach to devil pact narratives goes beyond conceiving them simply as religious or psychological expressions, and regards such discourse as a method of projecting the language of social relationships and power. It is, however, a hidden discourse not easily accessible to the outside researcher.