Tag Archives | Dr. R. Andrew Chesnut

Viva la Muerte! Holy Death Comes to Brooklyn

Morbid Anatomy Library Acquisition Number 1,352: New Lot of Santa Muerte Related Materials from Mexico

The Morbid Anatomy Library’s most recent acquisition brings the Boney Lady to Brooklyn, NY:

“The Morbid Anatomy Library is delighted to announce the acquisition of a new lot of materials related to Santa Muerte, which is, depending on whom you ask, a Mexican-based “cult” or “new religion” which worships death as a female saint.

Santa Muerte,” which literally translates to “Holy Death” or “Saint Death,” is popular in Mexico and the United States with disenfranchised populations for whom conventional Catholicism has not provided a better or safer life. It is thought to have its roots in the rich syncretism of the beliefs of the native Latin Americans and the colonizing Spanish Catholics.

The artifacts donated to the library, many of which you see above, include sacred books and pamphlets, devotional statues, magical soaps and oils, charms, incense, and even “La Biblia de la Santa Muerte.” They were generously donated by Friends of Morbid Anatomy Tonya Hurley and Tracy Hurley Martin as found on their travels in Mexico.”

These items have joined the library’s other “curiosities, books, photographs, artworks, ephemera, and artifacts relating to medical museums, anatomical art, collectors and collecting, cabinets of curiosity, the history of medicine, death and society, natural history, arcane media, and curiosity and curiosities broadly considered,” and are now on display in their collection.… Read the rest

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