Chapter

Brown Candle

R. Andrew Chesnut

in Devoted to Death

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199764662
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932535 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199764662.003.0001
Brown Candle

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This chapter discusses the history and origins of the cult of Saint Death. It examines who she is and how she became what she is today in the early years of the 21st century. In looking at her past, both myth and reality in the development of her cult are considered. A small minority of more sophisticated cult members are interested in the history of their beloved saint and have well-defined views on the matter. Others, who are not believers themselves, have embraced Santa Muerte and often death itself as an icon of Mexicanness and spun their own interesting stories about the origins of her devotion. It is shown that the myths surrounding the cult are often just as revealing as the reality and tell us much about the nature of the cult.

Keywords: Santa Muerte; Saint Death; cults; cult members; Mexicans; devotion; devotees

Chapter.  7464 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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