Sovereignty of spirit: the embodied healing technologies of Chicana Indigena and Afro Mexicana narratives at the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.




López, Danielle Leedia Maxine

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This dissertation narrativizes Healing Technologies of Indigenous Chicana and Afro Mexicana earth-based knowledges at the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands/Transfronteriza that draw upon both Indigenous sciences and spirituality. Religion and spirituality are interchangeable in this narrative as a syncretic conduit of Indigenous Knowledge in the face of ongoing, oppressive, and multifaceted coloniality. Colonial-centered scholarship maintains a fallacy by assuming the erasure of Indigenous Knowledge by religion and state. To center healing technologies of Indigenous Chicana and Afro Mexicana narrative I acknowledge the Indigenous oral tradition as the original framework of Borderlands narrative. My decision to use academic sources, written, and oral Border literature is seated in the autochthonous root of poetics derived from the Indigenous Knowledge sharing of my own lived Indigenous Chicana and Afro Mexicana heritage. The healing praxis of narrative and spiritual activist practice stories is often abridged with the cultural-intuitive lifeways of familial, social, and spiritual embodiment of radical freedom. Herein, I have used Chicana and Black feminist theories to assist in my theorizing of Indigenous storytelling as the healing praxis of Borderland women's work to counter the colonial construct of native impermanence as the narratives are multigenerational and waves of resurgent knowledge. The literary and physical site of water in my research assists in metaphorical fluidity of that narrative and how it is essentially synonymous with the essence of freedom embodied in the waves of narrative told across all spectrums of our healing stories. May it be noted as well, that the term Transfronteriza speaks upon the cultural resistance in praxis and Transfrontera speaks upon the dynamics of the socio-economic and political dynamics that frame, transform, and alter the complexities of Borderlands literary and physical space and place.