Santa Muerte  

Posted by Stella Clark

Santa Muerte Cover
Santa Muerte is a sacred figure venerated in Mexico, probably a syncretism between Mesoamerican and Catholic beliefs. The name literally translates to "Saint Death. " Mexican culture since the pre-Columbian era has maintained a certain reverence towards death, which can be seen in the widespread Mexican celebration of the syncretic Day of the Dead. Catholic elements of that celebration include the use of skeletons to remind people of their mortality. Santa Muerte generally appears as a skeletal figure, clad in a long robe and carrying one or more objects, usually a scythe and a globe. The robe is most often white, but images of the figure vary widely from person to person and according to the rite being performed or the petition of the devotee. As the cult of Santa Muerte was clandestine until recently, most prayers and other rites are done privately in the home. However, for the past ten years or so, worship has become more public, especially in Mexico City. The cult is condemned by the Catholic Church in Mexico, but it is firmly entrenched among Mexico's lower classes and criminal worlds. The number of believers in Santa Muerte has grown over the past ten to twenty years, to approximately two million followers and has crossed the border into Mexican American communities in the United States.

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This entry was posted on 29 February 2008 at Friday, February 29, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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