"Nicoletta de la Brown – Negrita Doctress
Doctresses bear many names: Negress, bruja, light worker, negrita, medusa, healer. It is believed that the intentioned actions of a doctress can transmute and transform energy, people, and circumstances. Brown’s performance intimately channeled these women and the divine indigenous sciences they practice.
The Negrita Doctress sits fanning herself on a bench in front of a small altar of sacred objects. She gets up swaying her hips and fan in sync with Afro-Latin rhythms. With the flick of her fan, Negrita stretches out a hand to invite passersby to dance with her. Most allow themselves to be led by the rhythms around the altar to a bench. Negrita kneels on the floor before the seated patient, smoothes Florida water into the palms lifeline. A small jewel is pushed into the center. Negrita closes her eyes. Whispers silently. I closed my eyes too, intrigued by the thin line between imagination and reality. Time escapes me. A fleeting exchange. I opened my eyes to find Negrita beaming back. The ritual had concluded. The blessing was sealed.
The patrons who sat as patients smiled as they left the altar. Nicoletta de la Brown, Negrita Doctress conjures a universal divine feminine magic, a love song to matrilineal memory and the power of indigenous practices."
Author Angela N. Carroll is an artist-archivist; a purveyor and investigator of contemporary culture.
Photos courtesy of Labbodies; Bmore Art, Tanya Garcia, Ashley Dehoyos