Santa Fe Living Treasures ‚Äď Elder Stories
Honored April, 1984
All curanderas work their healing differently from one another, but they share the faith that a greater power is working through them," said Gregorita Rodriguez. "Their patients sense this and share in the faith in the healer's source of power. I can't tell someone exactly how to heal. I can share the skills and techniques of massage of the stomach. I can explain the healing properties of the herbs. This knowledge is important, but the rest is not something you hear with your ears or see with your eyes.
Gregorita was the first-born daughter of Ramona and Rafael Montoya. Born in 1901 in her father's house on Montoya Hill in Santa Fe, she was instructed in the art of healing by her Tia (Aunt) Valentina. In her father's family, one woman of each generation was selected to become a curandera. Valentina, who had learned healing from her mother, took Gregorita with her when she went to care for the sick and deliver babies, teaching her how to use massage and native herbs for healing.