NM museum to hold 'curanderismo' exhibit

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm •  Published: March 25, 2013

Susto is a folk illness linked to fright experience like an automobile accident or tipping over an unseen object. Those who believe they are inflicted with susto say only a curandero can cure them.

Eliseo "Cheo" Torres, the curator of the exhibit and author of "Curandero: A Life in Mexican Folk Healing," said curanderismo is gaining in popularity in the U.S. due to immigration from Latin America. "But there are also new people who want to learn about the field and appreciate its value," he said. "They also incorporate Chinese and Cuban traditional healing."

Torres is the lead teacher of the University of New Mexico curanderismo workshop in July and said the class typically attracts people from New York, California and Indiana.

The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology exhibit, which will be housed next to where classes will take place, will serve as a another educational outlet for visiting students wishing to learn more about the field, Torres said.

Included in the exhibit will be popular modern images related to curanderismo like folk saints La Santa Muerte and Jesus Malverde, said Romanek.

La Santa Muerte, or Saint Death, is a popular folk saint in Mexican and parts of the U.S. that devotees pray to help with employment or stop a lover from cheating. Jesus Malverde, a saint popular with drug cartels, also claims followers seeking protection.

"Curanderismo is so diverse now," said Torres. "It is evolving."

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