Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
La Partera is the story of Jesusita Aragén, one of the last traditional midwives of northeastern New Mexico, as written from recorded interviews between the author and Jesusita. Before telling Jesusita's account of her own life, the author introduces the reader geographically, historically, and culturally to the area of San Miguel County and its main city of Las Vegas. Buss clearly shows her love and understanding of this region where she and her husband served as United Church of Christ ministers in 1975. She writes, ”the weather is dominated by striking turquoise skies and a brilliant, penetrating sun” (p. 2) and describes the area as "a largely rural county which straddles the forested mountains, the foothills and the plains.” (p. 4) She states that the majority of the people in west Las Vegas are Hispanic New Mexican, touching on the Hispanic settlement, religious customs, and health care practices of the region. At the turn of the century, curanderas, médicas, and parteras, a female network, delivered health care to the area until the early 1930s, when Anglo medical personnel, again mostly women, began to take over these services.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1981