Storyteller, Healer Martin Prechtel
to Visit U.Va.
|Martín Prechtel’s latest book, “The
Toe Bone and the Tooth,” is a story within a story
within a story that chronicles his dramatic getaway from
war-torn Guatemala with his family.
He calls storytelling “cultural medicine.” Martín
Prechtel, a Native-American spiritual healer, artist and teacher, will give a
presentation about the healing qualities of stories at U.Va. on March 24, in
conjunction with the Virginia Festival of the Book.
Prechtel grew up on a Pueblo reservation in New Mexico and
eventually settled in a village in Guatemala. He became
a village leader and was responsible for
instructing the young people of Santiago Atitlan in the meanings of their ancient
stories that were part of adult rites of passage. He eventually left the village
in the face of a civil war.
Prechtel, whose books include the autobiographical “Secrets of the Talking
Jaguar and Long Life,” “Honey in the Heart,” and his latest, “The
Toe Bone and the Tooth,” has returned to New Mexico, but travels extensively,
teaching. Through story, music, ritual and writing, he seeks to help people get
in touch with their past to renew their cultural identity while living in the
Prechtel’s visit is sponsored by an ad hoc faculty committee dedicated
to enhancing diversity at U.Va. and led by Rachel Saury, director of the Arts & Sciences
Instructional Technology Center, and John Alexander, ITC manager of classroom
technology. Several other offices and agencies are co-sponsoring, including
the Vice Provost for International Affairs, the Center for the Study of Alternative
and Complementary Therapies, the Latin American Student Organization and
Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.
Toe Bone and the Tooth: Story as Cultural Medicine, presented by Martin
March 24, 7-9 p.m.,
Rouss Hall Rm. 202