Bontanicas Supply Ceremonial Goods to Diverse Traditions

January 11, 2001

Source: New York Daily News

On January 11, 2001, the New York Daily News reported that "Sophia Vackimes, curator of the photography exhibit "Botanica! Lotions, Potions, Orishas and Saints," will give a talk and present a slide show Saturday highlighting the cultural and religious phenomenon of the neighborhood botanica at the Flushing Library Auditorium. A botanica is a small retail shop that supplies religious practitioners, artisans and others of different religious beliefs with ceremonial goods. There you may find jars filled with ritual objects, Chinese herbs, remedies, ointments and images of ancestral spirits carved in wood or made in plaster or plastic. Vackimes will discuss how the shops integrate diverse cultural and spiritual influences of Catholicism, the African Diaspora, New Age and popular culture."