My piece titled, La Partera or The Midwife, came from my own family history. Growing up I had heard stories about my great grandmother Carmelita Anaya, or as she was lovingly called Mieta. She was a midwife and curandera in Galisteo, New Mexico. She was born in 1884 and raised 10 children of her own and delivered most of the babies in Galisteo at that time. When her daughter, Reynalda (my grandmother), would go into labor in Santa Fe, she would come from Galisteo to deliver her babies. In my piece, La Partera I show two portraits hanging on the wall. The one on the left is the wedding picture of my grandparents. The other is the daguerreotype of Mieta and my great grandfather Serapio Anaya when they were young. I saw this painting hanging in my grandmother's bedroom my whole life. To the right stands Mieta holding her medicine bag ready to leave the new mother and father. I have a mortar and pestle on the night table to symbolize the herbs Mieta used to heal people. She has used the herbs to make a chamomile tea for the new mother to drink. The father has come from the fields to hold his new baby and give thanks for the safety of his wife. Of course, a cross presides over the family and the mother clasps her rosary.
December 21st, 2010
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