The Land as Flesh: Healing through Nature and History

Elizabeth De la Portilla

Dr. De la Portilla with Mr. Jacinto Madrigal in his backyard, where he grows and experiments with plants.  As Dr. de la Portilla explains, while there is no way for us to know how long our people have practiced the use of medicinal plants, there are those like Mr. Madrigal who not only keep the tradition from dying out but show us how to make use of it in the present and for the future.

Dr. De la Portilla has worked with traditional healers for 22 years and taught anthropology for the last 15.  Her book on curanderismo, They All Want Magic: Curanderas and Folk Helaing was published by Texas A&M Press in 2009.

Support provided by: Feminist Studies, Latin American & Border Studies, Race & Ethnicity Studies, “Americas: North by South” Paideia cluster, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Latinos Unidos, Kappa Delta Chi, and Global Citizens fund.