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Border MedicineA TransCultural History of Mexican American Curanderismo$
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Brett Hendrickson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479834785

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479834785.001.0001

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Channels of Healing

Channels of Healing

(p.86) 4 Channels of Healing
Border Medicine

Brett Hendrickson

NYU Press

This chapter examines the importance of metaphysical worldviews at play in the lives of multiethnic populations in both northern Mexico and the American Southwest. More specifically, it considers the emergence of spirit channeling, spirit communication, and religious innovation by focusing on the life and times of the Mexican curandero Niño Fidencio. It also looks at the cult of devotion that has arisen after Fidencio's death, with hundreds of healers in Mexico and the United States channeling his spirit to bring healing and comfort to their patients. The chapter concludes by discussing the influence of fidencismo on Mexican American curanderismo and placing it in the context of Mexican espiritualismo. It suggests that fidencismo is an instance of the boundary-defying hybridization of Mexican and Mexican American religious healing.

Keywords:   fidencismo, Mexico, American Southwest, spirit channeling, spirit communication, religious innovation, Niño Fidencio, curanderismo, espiritualismo, religious healing

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