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Four hundred years ago, the pioneer men and women who first came to New Mexico were forced to make their life compatible with the earth and with their isolation. The beauty that surrounded them did not sustain them, but out of reverence for the land, there appeared the chosen ones--the curanderos who understood the medicinal uses of herbs; the veijitos, the old men who made folklore, history and tradition and recounted it to the younger generations. And from this same tradition came the Patrón, a man who had the ability to channel ambition and determination, and to make the land and its people yield to the law of common interest. He was a protector, a watcher of signs; he was a code maker, a fashioner of a way of life that is sadly missing in today's world.



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