Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Chicana and Chicano StudiesLatino Health Issues

So What is Curanderismo?

Who is a Curandero?
Common Beliefs

The quote below is taken from an article online provided by the Handbook of Texas Online written by Joe S. Graham. It seems to hit what Curanderismo is composed of right on the nose. Very good description.

In general Curanderismo is a common tradition of healing and analyzing illness in Mexican American and many Latina/o cultures. It is a culturally rich system of illness and healing. Many influences have shaped the system itself and have composed what it is today. Much of the system lies in spirituality and the use of herbal and plant remedies.

"Curanderismo: is the art of folk healing by a curandero , the healer par excellence in the folk medicine qv practiced by Texas Hispanics. Healers can be either male or female and may even specialize in their practice. The three most common types of curanderos are the yerbero (herbalist), the partera (midwife), and the sobador (masseur). Though the curandero has the skill to treat a wide variety of illnesses, he is the only healer in the culture who can treat mal puesto , illnesses caused by witchcraft. He is thought to have been given a don de Dios (a gift from God) to heal the sick, and he learns his healing art through apprenticeship under another curandero or a spiritual manifestation. His chief adversary in the struggle between good and evil is Satan and those who have made secret pacts with himí¬the brujos or brujas (witches). Along with the treatment of mal puesto, curanderos also treat mal de ojo (the evil eye) and susto (loss of spirit). Typically, the curandero works on three levels, the material, the spiritual, and the mental. He may prescribe a herbal remedy or conduct a religious ritual. Quite often, a practitioner is called upon to treat the physical symptoms that patients believe come from supernatural causes." (Graham 1)




Accessibility | Privacy | ASU Disclaimer This site was created by Fabian Valladolid in fulfillment of requirements for the course CSS 335: Latino Health Issues taught by Dr. Szkupinski Quiroga at Arizona State University, Spring 2005.