In this article, I analyze the persuasiveness of ritual libations in provincial Bolivia as populist spectacles. During an era of extensive national reform, these libations are prototypical definitional performances within a changing regional political arena. I argue for an approach to the contextualization of factional politics that resituates both performance based theories of rhetoric and ethnographic treatments of life histories in a more comprehensively synthetic public interpretive frame. I treat libations as part of a local political process attuned to the perceived truthfulness of personal indexical references in performative frames. The plausibility of sponsors' self-images turns on the potentially conflictual shadings of their public careers, shades often unintentionally generated by such spectacles, [political ritual, popular identity, life histories, indexicals, Bolivia]