Patrisia Gonzales addresses "Red Medicine" as a system of healing that includes birthing practices, dreaming, and purification rites to re-establish personal and social equilibrium. The
For Gonzales, a central guiding force in Red Medicine is the principal of regeneration as it is manifested in Spiderwoman. Dating to Pre-Columbian times, the Mesoamerican Weaver/Spiderwoman—the guardian of birth, medicine, and purification rites such as the Nahua sweat bath—exemplifies the interconnected process of rebalancing that transpires throughout life in mental, spiritual and physical manifestations. Gonzales also explains how dreaming is a form of diagnosing in traditional Indigenous medicine and how Indigenous concepts of the body provide insight into healing various kinds of trauma. Gonzales links pre-Columbian thought to contemporary healing practices by examining ancient symbols and their relation to current curative knowledges among Indigenous peoples. Red Medicine suggests that Indigenous healing systems can usefully point contemporary people back to ancestral teachings and help them reconnect to the dynamics of the natural world.
About Patrisia Gonzales
Patrisia Gonzales is an assistant professor in the Department of Mexican American Studies and is an affiliated faculty member in the American Indian Studies Program and the Native American Research Training Center at the University of Arizona. She the author of The Mud People: Chronicles, Testimonios & Remembrances.