Sarita Colonia

18 08 2008

On the Birth of a Folk Saint

Not much information exists in English on the Peruvian cult to Sarita Colonia. Outside of Frank Graziano’s book, Cultures of Devotion: Folk Saints of Spanish America, information about her in anything other than Spanish is scarce. In the world of folk saints, however, she is one of the heavy hitters, like Jesus Malverde and Gaucho Gil. The main difference between this Peruvian woman and other folk saints is that we know exactly who she is and the circumstances of her life and death. When her cult was far more popular than it is now, her many siblings were still in middle age and some have benefited from the people’s devotion to her. This has not stopped people from making up stories about her to make her appear larger than life. From a poor immigrant girl from the highlands of Peru to the patroness of the lumpen proletariat of Lima, she is a prime example of how people can take a simple story and create an elaborate mythology around it.
Read the rest of this entry »