Curanderas are indigenous people who are known to have healers among them. Juana took us to a plaza where there are at least a dozen Curanderas offering their services.
Señora Carmen allowed us to observe as she treated her tiny client. The mother told us that she brought her 10 months old baby girl because her daughter does not sleep very well at night.
The healing is done with an assortment of leaves and flowers specified by tradition passed on by the previous generation of healers. Señora Carmen first crushed the bundle bringing out the wonderful aroma.
She then let the baby inhale the fragrance.
Señora Carmen tapped the baby from head to toe continuously chanting "kisha, kisha kisha". The meaning of the chant is to remove any blockage from the child's body. Her chant changed to "chuca, chuca, chuca" meaning protection.
The next step was to gently run an egg over the body of the baby.
In some cases, the healer would then break the egg open to examine to see if the treatment worked. In the case of this baby, Señor Carmen was confident that it was successful. She then took a swig of liquid made with herbs and sprayed the baby.
The last step was marking the baby's forehead, above the belly-button and her back with charcoal. The entire treatment took about 15 minutes.
With fragrant herbal scents, gentle tapping on the entire body accompanied by steady chanting must have felt soothing for the young client. At the end, her eye lids were beginning to droop and she looked very relaxed.
Aloha -- Cathi