Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Delfinio Lujan

Delfinio Lujan


Honored May, 1985

Delfinio Lujan

The closing of Lujan's Place in 1991, the last locally-run general store downtown, marked the end of an era for many who know and love Santa Fe. Since 1968, Delfinio Lujan had served all those who walked through the door of his Galisteo Street store, supplying them with basic household needs: cast-iron skillets, kerosene lanterns, bridles, and ice cream bars. The shelves were crammed with the useful, everyday articles of living.

And although Delfinio refused the title of "Dr. Lujan," which so many wanted to call him, he was the town's expert on rem edios, traditional herbal cures. He preferred to think of himself, and have others think of him, as a merchant rather than as healer. But in wooden bins along the wall of his store he stocked the healing herbs that so many of the older generation relied on, and which the younger generation was discovering. "The hippie girls were the best customers," he recalled.

Delfinio learned about the curative powers of herbs from the old people who came in. He would ask them about the herbs they bought, then write down their advice. "I know what these herbs are good for," he would say, and he didn't charge anything for his consultations. He remembered how, in the old days when his brother-in-law ran the general store, people would be waiting by the door on Monday mornings to sell the native herbs they had gathered over the weekend.

Please see Volume 1 for complete text.
Photo ©1997 by Joanne Rijmes