April 28, 2000

Secrets of Mixtec Medicine Revealed in Cal State San Marcos Presentation

What modern medicine can learn from traditional Mixtec medicine and teachings will be featured in an audio-visual presentation at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 4 in Room 102 of Academic Hall on the CSUSM campus.

The presentation is sponsored by the Spring Arts & Lectures Series at CSUSM. It is open to the public free of charge. Parking is available in nearby lots for a nominal charge.

Dr. Bonnie Bade, an anthropologist and professor of liberal studies, and Dr. Deborah Small, professor of visual and performing arts, collaborated to produce a compact disk for computers (CD-ROM). The disk discusses the work of the late Don Primo Dominguez Tapia, an indigenous Mixtec healer from Juxtlahuaca, in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. The content of the CD-ROM reflects more than 13 years of ethnographic research conducted by Dr. Bade.

Mr. Dominguez was a healer and a religious leader in his pueblo for more than 40 years. He studied various forms of health care in addition to the indigenous forms passes on to him from prominent healers of his community. In an effort to document and preserve the medical culture of the Mixtec people, Mr. Dominguez shared with Dr. Bade his extensive knowledge of the uses and preparations of medicinal plants. He also demonstrated ancient indigenous methods of diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.

What Dr. Babe learned from Mr. Dominguez has been captured on the CD-ROM by Associate Professor Small. Dr. Small is an accomplished visual artist responsible for the aesthetic and creative presentation of the ethnographic material. The CD-ROM includes photographs, audio-visual media, and images from the surviving pre-Hispanic texts of the Mixtec people.

The CD-ROM is dedicated to Mr. Dominguez, who died in February, 2000.

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