Santa Muerte : Sainte Matronne de l’amour et de la mort

  • Kate Kingsbury Département d’anthropologie, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • R. Andrew Chesnut École des études du monde, Virginia Commonwealth University, États-Unis
Keywords: Santa Muerte, love, women, Mexico, femicide, gender violence, weapon of the weak, death cult, magic, Catholicism

Abstract

In this article, we argue that while Santa Muerte, a female Mexican folk saint is often portrayed as a narcosaint associated with drug traffickers and delinquents, she is in fact much more than that. We conducted interviews with female followers, who outnumber male followers, and owners of botanicas (esoteric stores). These interviews formed the basis of our research. We argue that because of the persecution and difficulties single women face in patriarchal and impoverished societies such as Mexico and South American countries, women without boyfriends or husbands face financial and security difficulties. Our analyses confirm that these women try to improve their lot by turning to Santa Muerte for miracles of love. We argue that Santa Muerte has too often been associated with narcoculture and Mexican drug cartels and that these representations neglect the important role of women in the growing popularity of her cult.

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Published
2020-12-24
How to Cite
Kingsbury, K., & Chesnut, R. A. (2020). Santa Muerte : Sainte Matronne de l’amour et de la mort. Anthropologica, 62(2), 380-393. Retrieved from https://cas-sca.journals.uvic.ca/index.php/anthropologica/article/view/300