Immigration and Folk Healing

Curandera Sweetie

Curandera Sweetie by Rebecca Artemisa, 2016.

Despite its designation as “witchcraft,” brujería finds its roots in both  indigenous religion  and Catholicism. To be a bruja is a vague term; a curandera is  more specific — a healer for others. They are practicing Catholics, but proponents of native spirituality. With a rise in immigration in the 20th century, it has a strong presence in the United States. Mexican and Latinx immigrants joining stateside communities that were established before American expansion. Faced with a white and Protestant majority, Hispanic Americans were still mainly Catholic and had strong ties to Latin America — including folklore and culture.

Recommended guiding questions for this collection:

  • How does the development of folk culture and its history affect a community's identity?
  • What is the effect of European imperialism on Latin American culture and belief systems? How could this put modern-day Latinx members at a crossroads between two heritages?
  • How does immigration to the Americas affect an indigenous community's culture?