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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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Mexican American Healing and the American Spiritual Marketplace

Mexican American Healing and the American Spiritual Marketplace

(p.113) 5 Mexican American Healing and the American Spiritual Marketplace
Border Medicine

Brett Hendrickson

NYU Press

This chapter examines New Age interest in curanderismo and Mexican American folk healing. It considers how the more “traditional” curanderos extend their practice to Anglo clients who almost always participate in alternative healing and have been impacted by the American metaphysical religious tradition and New Age spirituality. In order to elucidate contemporary curanderismo's convergence with New Age and alternative healing communities, the chapter focuses on the continued development of American metaphysical religion into the twentieth century. It also looks at one of the most prominent contemporary curanderos, Elena Avila, and her way of practicing Mexican American religious healing to show that curanderismo continues to undergo hybridization. Finally, it discusses the use of the concept of chakras by curanderos to explain how Mexican American as well as Mayan and other Mesoamerican healing traditions work.

Keywords:   curanderismo, folk healing, curanderos, alternative healing, New Age, spirituality, metaphysical religion, Elena Avila, religious healing, chakras

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