Born in Mexico City, Brujo de la Mancha came from a family that included both Spanish and Mexican Indigenous ancestry. His paternal grandmother who spoke Nahuatl, Tojolobal, and Spanish was tremendously influential in his development as a tradition-bearer. Today he serves as artistic director of Ollin Yoliztli Calmecac, a Philadelphia-based group which works to reclaim Mexicayotl as a living culture
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Visit artist's website: www.brujodelamancha.com
Portrait of Brujo taken by Emily Wren
Instrument photos taken by Kelly Armor, Erie Art Museum
Other photos taken by Lisa Rathje, Institute for Cultural Partnerships
Brujo de la Mancha
Danza Mexica and Ritual Clay Flutes
(Nurturing Well-being and Health)
“It is very important for me to keep learning about myself, my culture, and the world around me. Wherever I go, I am always aware how my living culture is full of arts and spirituality. This awareness pushes me to keep working hard to identify ways to express to the public an indigenous perspective that is not always seen in our contemporary, or historical, society.
“Brujo” literally means “wizard” in Spanish; and, as is evident in the work and art of Brujo de la Mancha, should be more broadly understood as a person who works with, and transforms through, healing powers. Using art, ritual, and ceremony, Brujo offers his Philadelphia community an opportunity to challenge the idea that all Mexicans share the same Spanish-based culture. For those who claim indigenous roots, hurtful social and economic policies did not end with colonial rule. Brujo plays this flute and whistle to accompany dances which powerfully act as tools for remembering native ancestors and heritage.