Three NCR articles

30 08 2010

The first by their token Latina pundit:

But, in Latino healing practices called curanderismo, it is just the opposite. Curanderismo, which is often taught under the guidance and protection of the older women, is the spiritual practice, most often devoted to intercession through Jesús y Maria, toward the healing of spirit, soul, mind and body.

This spiritual discipline is specific and varied in each locality. It can be said that in parts of Mexico, it is a combination of the ancient Nahua people’s (the original tribal name which Spaniards overlaid with their word, Aztec) spiritual understandings, blended with very old Sephardic traditions that had entered the Catholicism of the 16th century Conquistadores, and sometimes merging further with spiritual practices from 15th century Africa, via slave women and men forced to the east coast of Mexico and Central America.

Such militant cultural posturing does a disservice to our ancestors in that it fails to acknowledge the complexities of the origins of their beliefs. Notice that she lays the credit for curandero practices at the feet of Aztecs, Africans, and Sephardic Jews. That seems to be a sort of “reverse” colonialism: anything exotic must be foreign to the Christian ethos, because “real Christianity” would never permit that sort of thing. The problem is that in the Catholic world such healing systems were so ubiquitous even in the “old country” that you cannot trace their origins just to Aztecs and African slaves.

(Note: the Aztecs are not the only indigenous people in Mexico, or even the valley of Mexico. Associating all Mexicans with them is an exercise in bourgeois nationalist posturing.)

Also, making it an exclusively female thing is aligning such practices to American “liberal” thought. Some of the greatest practicioners of “curanderismo” were men such as Don Pedro Jaramillo and el Niño Fidencio. These people should really check their facts before using traditional culture in their rhetorical wars.

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