Santa Muerte inked in Skin: My Holy Death Tattoos

Most Holy Death

by Mariposa Yetzirah and Kate Kingsbury

Mariposa’s altar

Santa Muerte tattoos are one of the most intimate forms of offering to la Santísima Muerte, they are Death in the flesh. For devotees, as Mariposa describes in the following article, they are deeply spiritual, and among other things, they proffer protection from danger, create a deeper psychic bond with Santa Muerte and serve to identify the body as a temple honouring the skeleton saint. Tattoos are for life, and Santa Muerte is in the skin of devoted until they are six feet under, in their grave, united once and for all with Death herself.

The following article is an amended transcript of an interview by Doctor of anthropology Kate Kingsbury with Mexican-American, Chichimeca & Karankawa, Santa Muerte devotee Mariposa Yetzirah, who is co-owner of Absolem’s Midtown Mojo Manufacturers located in Houston. The shop has a public altar to Santa Muerte where…

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