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Big Read presents programs on folklore, herbs and witchcraft

The Big Read events continue, including two programs by New Mexico folklorist Nasario Garcia, one by experts on herb lore and a historical program on witchcraft and religion in New Mexico.

All Big Read events are based on themes in Rudolfo Anaya's novel "Bless Me, Ultima" and are free and open to the public. The Big Read is sponsored by the New Mexico State University Library, the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library and community partners.

Garcia will present "Hispanic Fiestas of Yesteryear: From Food and Fun to Fisticuffs" at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Thomas Branigan Memorial Library.

Garcia's second program, "Would You Like to Meet the Devil, the Bogeyman or La Llorona?" will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum. In 1995, Garcia was president of the New Mexico Folklore Society. He was a professor emeritus of Spanish at New Mexico Highlands University, but he retired from academia in 2001 and now resides in Santa Fe.

"Healing Herbs and the Curandera Tradition" will be presented at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Fabian Garcia Science Center Landscape Garden on University Avenue, a quarter mile west of south Main Street. The program will be presented by NMSU professor Mary O'Connell and practicing curandera Cristina Villalpando.

Historian Rick Hendricks will present "Witchcraft and Religious Conflict in New Mexico History" at noon Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Zuhl Library Associates Room. Hendricks will share his research on the themes of Catholic tradition and witchcraft. He was the president of the Historical Society of New Mexico and was an editor of the Vargas Project.

For more information, visit http://lib.nmsu.edu/bigread/ or call (575) 646-5792.