“The Skinny Lady”: The Cult of Saint Death

stamteAn illustrated lecture with Salvador Olguin
Date: Thursday April 28th Event Postponed; stay tuned for more information
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $5
Presented by Salvador Olguin

The cult of Saint Death is a rapidly spreading belief among Mexican communities, both within Mexico and abroad. The people who believe in Santa Muerte worship the figure of a female Grim Ripper; they ask her for protection, and bring her food, tobacco, marihuana and alcohol as offerings. The origin of the cult and of the this figure are uncertain. Some speculate that it started among gangs and drug traffickers; others, that it began after people confused the figure of a saint who appeared to be a skeleton with a personification of Death itself. While is certain is that this cult has spread among the dispossessed, the marginalized, and those who don’t feel accepted by organized religion. Moreover, personifying Death, and particularly personifying her a woman, is a common practice, almost a common place, in Mexico’s popular folk culture for centuries, and the worship of some deity related to Death can be traced back to Mexico’s pre-Columbian past.

Join us for a lecture where we will discuss the possible roots of the cult of Saint Death, the practices surrounding her worship and the current legal status of some of the top leaders of the cult in Mexico.

Salvador Olguin holds a MA in Humanities and Social Thought by New York University. He has studied representations of Death extensively, and has work with Mexican cultural artifacts from the late nineteen and twentieth century. He was born in Monterrey, Mexico, and currently lives in Brooklyn.

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