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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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Reclaiming the Past and Redefining the Present

Reclaiming the Past and Redefining the Present

(p.140) 6 Reclaiming the Past and Redefining the Present
Border Medicine

Brett Hendrickson

NYU Press

This chapter examines the ways that contemporary curanderos as well as neo-shamans have endeavored to continue to “import” knowledge from Mesoamerica and South America. It shows that contemporary curanderos, in an act of cultural memory and reclamation, reconfigure their healing tradition as one that is largely indigenous rather than the result of colonial contact and oppression. It also considers new directions in curanderismo by focusing on the University of New Mexico's course on curanderismo and the growing role of neo-shamanism in contemporary Mexican American metaphysical healing. The chapter suggests that contemporary curanderismo combines an overt return to an imagined indigenous Mesoamerican and South American past with attempts to incorporate with other common alternative healing traditions such as ayurveda, Reiki, and massage therapies.

Keywords:   curanderos, neo-shamans, Mesoamerica, South America, curanderismo, University of New Mexico, neo-shamanism, metaphysical healing, alternative healing, ayurveda

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