Los Hermanos

People- Los Hermanos of New Mexico: When I lived in New Mexico I learned a lot of things. The place is alive with culture, I mean you could just trip over it. A group I found most interesting were Los Hermanos.

 

This is a very old group, and an off shoot from Catholicism. When the Catholics spread their beliefs in then Mexico, there were often many months or years before a priest or church official would be seen again in the area. The Hermanos took on the role of caretaking communities in what they believed was Catholicism. Because of the lack of communication, Catholicism was interpreted in a very different way. Although they provided care for the elderly, the widows, settled disputes, helped those in need and kept order, they had mixed their traditional Amerindian beliefs with Catholicism. As real kick in the pants, when the church did arrive and saw the Hermanos version of Catholicism they were ex-communicated.

However, the tradition still exists. To be member of the Los Hermanos, you have to be a descendant of one. When you meet them, many seem like hipsters you might see at the local micro brew. Lots of artists and musicians are claiming their places in this group.

 Depiction of a re-enactment of the Crucifixtion

Depiction of a re-enactment of the Crucifixtion

They meet in secret and perform ceremonies, to re-enact the crucifiction of Christ, and self flagellation. Meetings take place in remote windowless buildings(morados) in the desert, where you can hear them singing and chanting. When the wind picks up, it is beautiful, and haunting to hear. When you see them walking the road to their "morados" out in the middle of the desert, you have to wonder what will happen. However, most of what goes on is of course secret.

 Morado you might drive past in the middle of New Mexico.

Morado you might drive past in the middle of New Mexico.