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Storyteller, Healer Martín Prechtel To Visit U.Va.

March 18, 2004 -- 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, in conjunction with the Virginia Festival of the Book.

His talk, “The Toe Bone and the Tooth: Story as Cultural Medicine,” will be held March 24 at 7 p.m. in Rouss Hall, room 202, at the University of Virginia.

Prechtel grew up on a Pueblo reservation in New Mexico and eventually settled in a village in Guatemala until it became too dangerous there because of civil war. 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.

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: Story as Cultural Medicine,” has returned to live in his native New Mexico, but travels extensively, teaching. Through story, music, ritual and writing, he seeks to help people in many lands get in touch with their past to renew their cultural identity while living in the present.

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 departments 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 the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

Contact: Rachel Saury, (434) 924-6847

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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