Biographies/People (86)

Santa Fe Living Treasures writes: "Dona Jesusita Aragon, healer and midwife of northern New Mexico, in her seven decades of on the job delivered more than twelve thousand babies--the population of a good sized New Mexican town.
"Born on a ranch in Sapello, known as El Rancho Trujillo in 1908, she delivered her first baby when she was only thirteen years old. "My grandmother, Dolores Gallegos, a midwife, taught me," Jesusita recalled. "She wasn't there that day because she went to deliver another baby. One of my aunts had a baby, so I had to help her. But I knew everything."
Her Tia Valentina, the curandera in the family, taught her the use of traditional healing herbs. Jesusita became interested in healing as well as delivering babies.
"I wanted to go to school to be a nurse," said Jesusita. "But years ago, they didn't believe in education. I only went to the eighth grade, and it was all in Spanish. It's a miracle that I can talk a little English. I learned reading the papers.
As a single mother with a son and daughter, she was sole provider for her family. She cut wood and carried it to build her own house as well as the furnishings. She cared for her family by gardening and raising animals. In 1942 she moved to Las Vegas, where she supported her children by washing clothes, cleaning houses, making tortillas, and delivering babies.
The birthing room she set up in the front of her house held ten beds. "I used to deliver nine or ten a night," she recalled charging $10 a birth. "I used to deliver 200 to 215 a year." Among her deliveries were twenty-seven sets of twins and two sets of triplets."

"Medicas y Medicos-A Healing Tradition in the SW"

Thursday, 14 February 2013 19:17

Atha Love Wright Earnest -- Santa Fe Style

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Atha Love Wright Earnest, born December 30, 1910, wrote an account of her life, From The Prairie To The Mountain, where she imparts her fascinating life journey, from her childhood in Oklahoma, in the early part of the last century, to her later life as a clothing maker in Santa Fe. 

Born in the prairie of Oklahoma, Atha describes her brave and solo move from her family home on the prairie to the Estancia Valley in New Mexico.   Working to support herself, she graduated from high school in Vaughn and soon  after married Edgar Elbert Earnest in 1935 in McIntosh, NM.  Before long, they created a life in Española, he as a high school teacher, she as a mother and homemaker. 

In the late 1950s, Atha and Edgar moved to Santa Fe where they would leave their mark on the community.  Atha opened her Birdwatcher boutique in 1970.  Located on Canyon Road, the shop carried her popular creations of velvet as well as ribbon shirts for men, and also fashionable broomstick skirts.   With a love of people and a fondness for creating, Atha was at home with her great array of customers, from locals wanting the perfect fashion to wear for the Santa Fe Fiestas, to the famous, such as Robert Redford, Bill Mauldin and Amado Peña, to name a few, who frequented her shop.  

Sensitive to the representation of the heritages she saw around her, it would be fair to say that Atha was one of the original forces behind Santa Fe style. 

by Maria Montez-Skolnik

Saturday, 01 December 2012 17:18

The Door Opens and it Closes - Mary Mora of Cerrillos, NM

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