On the margins of theology – II

21 09 2009

pacho villa

The primitive ontology of the Laguna region of Mexico in the 1950’s

In the year 1953, my mother was born on the U.S. – Mexico border, in the town of Sullivan City, Texas. Within three months, she and her parents returned to their native village of Florencia, in the state of Coahuila, just outside the city of Torreon, in what is known as the Laguna region of northern Mexico.

That same year, an American anthropologist, Isabel Kelly, began to do field studies into the healing practices and popular beliefs in that same region of Mexico. She would later compile these into a small book titled, Folk Practices in North Mexico: Birth Customs, Folk Medicine, and Spiritualism in the Laguna Zone. While her book appears more as a series of field notes, almost verbatim accounts of various practices from the area around the city of Torreon, they reveal that the popular vision of the world was shaped by various cross currents, both ancient and modern, that informed the how people from my mother’s homeland dealt with the various travails of their harsh existence.
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