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KsCajun


Jun 8, 2009, 1:19 AM

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Superstition

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We had a young lady booked into our facility and she spoke no english. She claimed Catholic as her religion but in her purse she carried a statuette of death robed in black. She wanted to keep the statuette with her but couldn't. It was placed in her property. She was not happy, not angry but agitated. Does anyone know the significance of that statuette?
Thanks



colibri1

Jun 8, 2009, 1:37 AM

Post #2 of 7 (2545 views)

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Re: [KsCajun] Superstition

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Sounds like Santa Muerta. It's a "cult hero", I guess you could say. This "deity" is popular among the drug using and selling people. People who take tremendous risks.
I was reading an article telling about shrine desacrations along the border, which recounted that Sta. Muerta shrines were being wrecked and that some who follow Sta. Muerta were threatening to wreck shrines dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe and San Judas, in retalliation.
Santa Muerta is not to be confused with the artesanal skeleton statues commonly known as "Catrinas" or "Catrins", depending upon gender. Catrinas are widely collected by an amazingly broad cross-section of people, very many of whom are Estadounidenses.
Colibri1


KsCajun


Jun 8, 2009, 1:45 AM

Post #3 of 7 (2544 views)

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Re: [colibri1] Superstition

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Thanks for the prompt reply colibri1. I had suspected the stauette was Santa Muerta but did not connect it to the drug culture. This in fact coincides directly with her major charges. She has three young children who will suffer much when she is ultimately deported. Thanks again.


La Isla


Jun 8, 2009, 12:17 PM

Post #4 of 7 (2491 views)

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Re: [colibri1] Superstition

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Though it's true that La Santa Muerte is very popular with drug dealers and other criminals, she is also popular with law-abiding poor people. For example, this morning when I boarded a microbus to get to an English class I teach at a museum, the wide dashboard of the bus had an entire shrine devoted to this outlawed "saint". In the past I was used to seeing a statue or banner of the Virgen de Guadalupe hanging from a bus's rear-view mirror, but now often the cadaverous figure of La Santa Muerte has become more and more common.


BajaGringo


Jun 8, 2009, 5:58 PM

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Re: [La Isla] Superstition

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I have seen a number of those here in Baja. It has gained fame as the "narco saint" but it is also seen by many as a sort of "saint of last resort". Many living on the edge of life here in Mexico have found some level of spiritual comfort there it seems...


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KsCajun


Jun 8, 2009, 10:41 PM

Post #6 of 7 (2397 views)

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Re: [KsCajun] Superstition

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Thanks La Isla and BajaGringo. I've learned much here and have much more to learn. I truly appreciate everyones help.


richmx2


Jun 9, 2009, 2:11 PM

Post #7 of 7 (2346 views)

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Re: [colibri1] Superstition

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Santa Muerte is not necessarily "drug culture"... although that was the "spin" used in the northern states and PAN administration when that religion's shrines were attacked (leaving alone those from the norteno cult of Jesus Malverde, also popular among the narco-trades... but -- being a norteno cult -- more likely to support PAN than PRD). Santa Muerte is popular in Mexico City and Veracruz among urban poor and working class. It's not so much a "drug cult" as one that appeals to, and re-enforces the values of, socially marginalized. As a religion, it tolerates people as they are ... . .. including not just drug addicts, drug dealers, thieves, and prostitutes but truckers, taxi drivers, vendors, garbage men, policemen etc. as well.

The image isn't so much a sign of death cult worship, but a "memento mori" and a reminder to live one's life to the fullest on this earth. Not so much the grim reaper as a reminder respect, but not fear, the reaper. It's no more (or less) superstition than any other religious image from any better known (and socially acceptable) religious belief system.

I worked with a company doing business with fruit vendors and truckers in Mexico City, and we kept a small SM shrine in the office (on my desk, as a matter of fact). Not that I'm a believer, but business went to hell when someone swiped the change that had been left as an offering at the shrine.


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