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R. Andrew Chesnut offers a fascinating portrayal of Santa Muerte, a skeleton saint whose cult has attracted millions of devotees over the past.
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- Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint
- Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint - Oxford Scholarship
- Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint
- Devoted to Death
Before that he worhsip was kept under wraps with only a few people activelyfollowing her. Most of her devotes are Catholic yet this movement seems to have the potential to break off into its own religious movement. There are many saints that Mexican will pray to. THe most noteable one THe cult of Santa Muetrte has grown by leaps and bounds since Dona Queta publicised her in her quesadilla stand in THe most noteable one is the Virgin of Guadalupe, which was who the author was researching. Something was missing, a certain enthusiasm and after all theVirgin had been written about many times.
Inspiration came when the author heard of the Mexican government destroying like over 40 shrines dedicated to the most holy death. This was part of an ongoing war against the drug cartels and Santa Muerte is a narco saint. Many of her devotees are criminals, drug dealers, prisoners and also prison guards, policemen and soldiers. She is the most popullar saint, surpassing all of them in terms of sales items. But what is the story of this saint or this Grim Reapress. THe books is divided into chapters based on the color of candles her devotees will work with. Black is often the color most associated with her.
Black is used for protections and cursing enemies. Back in the 80s and 90s when drug dealers kidnapped an american tourist and sacrificed him in a mixed palo mayombe ritual. Another case hapended in the 90s when a bust displayed Santa Muerte with black candles.
The colors that are most popular to work with are white and red. Thee first chapter is based on the brown candle. Brown is used for knolwdge and Enlightenment. This chapter discusses hsitory of Santa Muerte and her possible origins. Dona Queta opened a shrine to Santa Muerte from her quesadilla stand in the crime ridden neighborhood of Tepito. David Romo has since been victimized by the government and was charged with kidnapping. The origins of Santa Muerte are hazy. Some are saying that she is a Mexican version of the Aztec goddess of the dead.
But this cannot be because not all Indians were aztecs. The next color they talked about was the black candle. In this chapter the author discusses how she is associated with cursing and protection. The drug dealers will ask her to help them with drug shipments or getting rid of legal authorities.
Black is not a popular color but it is one most publicly associated with her. Thanks to cinema and media. White is for protection. Here the author discusses how the Saint protects her followers from witchcraft and other foul magic. Santa Muerte is as much a death bringer as she is a mother, healer and love doctor.
Red is the love candle. Most of her petitions are love petitions, especially jilted women who wanted their wayword husbands to change their ways. This has been her traditional roll historically. The other candle are green for justice, good for money, purple for healing. Finally the rainbow for all purposes. If you love Santa Muerte then get this book.
Jan 26, William Blackwell rated it it was amazing. It's clear Andrew Chesnut did his research in this book. It is well-organized, well-written, and debunks many of the myths about the mysterious skeleton saint. At one time the cult worship of Santa Muerte was believed to be the faith of drug cartel members and criminals. The Catholic Church condemns is as blasphemous, evil and satanic.
But Chesnut details how The Skinny Lady now appeals to all walks of life. People flock to her for protection, healing, prosperity and love. It is perhaps the most It's clear Andrew Chesnut did his research in this book. It is perhaps the most scholarly book to date on the folk saint of death. It served as a great reference book for my horror release, Freaky Franky, a dark tale about the horrifying consequences of worshiping Santa Muerte with evil intentions.
A must-read for all devotees. Jul 18, Moryma rated it liked it. What was there was good but wished this had been more detailed - am not sure if it's a lack of data or lack of time on his part but the book was both repetitive and hinted at much more than it delivered. Jul 03, Basia rated it really liked it Shelves: Jul 02, Samantha Gramer rated it really liked it. A bit repetitive but now I'm off to buy a candle. Mar 23, Abigail rated it it was amazing. Mar 19, Diego rated it really liked it. An amazing book, well researched and the authors in the very beginning establishes his credentials as to why a white man is writing about a Latino folk saint.
His book fills in many gaps and expands on much of the information found online. And he also isn't afraid to say that some of his sources might be slightly questionable because of how new and still decentralized the practice of venerating La Santisma Muerte is. My one qualm is that he makes several arguments about her origin being Spanish An amazing book, well researched and the authors in the very beginning establishes his credentials as to why a white man is writing about a Latino folk saint.
My one qualm is that he makes several arguments about her origin being Spanish and gives some minor arguments for her origin being Indigenous. She is a Mexican folk saint, a mestiza like ourselves, so why not be a combination of both? Buts that just a personal point, although a point that I think might help Chicanos understand and relate to her more so. Wonderful book Very informative and highly readable account of this growing cult south of the border. I highly recommend to anyone interested in reading about this new religious cult I.
Nov 29, William rated it really liked it Shelves: Santa Muerte, "Saint Death", is a female Mexican folk saint who personifies death. Andrew Chesnut, a professor of religious studies, has written a popular account of the history and current state of the cult i.
Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint
Appearing as a skeleton wearing robes or a wedding gown and wielding a scythe, she is usually portrayed in the media as the satanic patron saint of narco traffickers, blessing their crimes and killings in Mexico's drug war. This is a horribly misleading presentation of the saint. Chesnut is at pains to emphasize the several aspects of Santa Muerte besides those related to vengeance and harm; indeed, many of her aspects such as love, protection, and prosperity, are more popular among her devotees than vengeance, although these other aspects are almost entirely ignored by the media.
I really liked this book, especially as I'd been only dimly aware of the saint and then only in her media portrayal as a "narco saint". I would have liked a more in-depth presentation as the book is a bit thin at times, especially with some of the lesser aspects of Santa Muerte such as justice and healing. I suspect, though, that this is largely due to these aspects of the saint being underdeveloped by those who venerate her, especially since her cult has been public only for a decade or so.
In his account of the origins of this devotion, Chesnut postulates that the saint was restricted to love magic from the early s until Yet he also mentions media accounts from the s and s that suggest devotees are already broadening the areas where they appeal to the saint. This would be an interesting area to expand upon, although I'm not at all sure how one researches something that is essentially hidden, as the saint's cult was before Another area that could be expanded would be the reaction of official Catholicism to the saint. This is dealt with in the book, but could fruitfully be expanded.
I confess to not quite grasping the theological rationale given by a priest in the book. Finally, more extended accounts from some devotees would have been interesting, whether these be greater excerpts from their interviews or more detail about individual persons' practices.
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Oct 02, Meredith rated it it was ok Shelves: My interest in folk saints made me curious to learn more about Santa Muerte, which prompted me to read this book. Written by an academic, it is a scholarly yet colloquially written look at the folk saint Santa Muerte Saint Death whose cult has been steadily gaining popularity in Mexico and the United States over the past two decades.follow link
Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint - Oxford Scholarship
While the author tries very hard to downplay the more sinister aspects of this "saint," his attempts to emphasize her positive virtues often feel like he is grasp My interest in folk saints made me curious to learn more about Santa Muerte, which prompted me to read this book. While the author tries very hard to downplay the more sinister aspects of this "saint," his attempts to emphasize her positive virtues often feel like he is grasping at straws.
Much of his book comes off as a one man public relations rehabilitation project rather than objective documentation of a folk phenomenon. The chapters on descripting her powers for good often contain a lot of repetition despite being very short. The chapter on Santa Muerte's origins was informative.
Throughout the book, author repeatedly touches on the motivation behind the surge in her devotion, which are fairly telling. Because death in many ways is a great equalizer, she has an obvious appeal for the socioeconomically disadvantaged as well as the marginalized. But again because her darker aspects are being minimized, he just glosses over her role as the saint whom can be asked to perform deeds no one would dare ask of other holier saints, which remains her major selling point.
The author does attempt to move beyond narcos and hitmen to describe why Santa Muerte is the object of intense devotion from ordinary people who need a bit of unholy help, and there are lots of personal anecdotes. The darker element surrounding Santa Muerte is never really dispelled. The author mentions taking lots of photos for his research, but there aren't many photos in the book, which is too bad. I would have liked to have seen more personal altars and the variety of depictions of the saint described in the text.
Jun 18, David rated it really liked it Shelves: One of the few maybe the only English-language book about the much-maligned Mexican folk saint, Santa Muerte. She's not the evil narco-saint that the news media makes her out to be, but rather a loving grandmother-figure, also known as the "bony lady' or the "white girl" who looks after her devotees with meticulous care. Death is the first-created and most powerful of all God's creatures, so Santa Muerte is looked to as a mighty protector.
She denies no one and grants whatever the petitioner a One of the few maybe the only English-language book about the much-maligned Mexican folk saint, Santa Muerte. She denies no one and grants whatever the petitioner asks. This is not a devotional or "how to" book, but a sociological study that examines each of her roles through the colors of her siete colores candle. Pick this up if you want an scholarly, yet very accessible look at Mexico's beloved Santa Muerte. Dec 06, Rob Barry rated it liked it.
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I found the book extremely insightful concerning the syncretic relationships between this religion and other religions. Author demonstrates the links between injustice, uncertainty, social marginalization and affiliation with this religion. Fascinating aspect of the narrative was the monetization of the cult - the profiting off this cult upon the backs of the most socially marginalized. Ironically, the devotees who seem to benefit most from this cult are the ones who pro Enjoyable and informative.
Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint
I only wish the author could substantiate the number of devotees. His anecdotal evidence concerning numbers of devotees fluctuates throughout the book. Dec 19, Haven rated it really liked it. This is not a book I would normally pick up to read. Nothing about the cover or content within the book are very appealing to me; however, one of my religious studies classes had this book down as a required text. Santa Muerte is nearly a rival to Mother Mary, especially to those in Latin cultures that venerate her. She is like a mother figure to her followers.
Devoted to Death
She is known for granting the desires of her followers faster than praying to other saints. This is one of the reasons why her veneratio This is not a book I would normally pick up to read. This is one of the reasons why her veneration has increased throughout the years. Jan 17, Lori O'ferell rated it it was amazing.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I didn't know what to expect when I bought it. I only knew that I wanted to know more about this Saint whose image and statuary was popping up more and more in the area where I live. I feared Chesnut might take a condescending tone, but far from it. He is scholarly in approach,yes, but clearly open-minded. He was not at all dismissive. It was an enjoyable and very informative read. Oct 19, Steve Wiggins rated it really liked it. A most informative book on an intriguing religious movement.
Chestnut offers a good example of how new religions continue to emerge even in a secular age. More comments may be found at: She has become without doubt one of the most popular and powerful saints on both the Mexican and American religious landscapes. History and Origins of the Cult. SevenColor Candle Multiple Miracles. Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint R. Andrew Chesnut is Bishop Walter F. He is the author of Competitive Spirits: The Pentecostal Boom and the Pathogens of Poverty