The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols
A review of the novel, “The Milagro Beanfield War” by John Nichols, illustrating how folk religion operates in New Mexico.
This paper discusses the ethnographic and fictional novel, “The Milagro Beanfield War”, outlining the specific beliefs and ceremonies involved which are specific to the corner of the world that is being written about. The paper also provides a way of understanding more broadly how it is that all folk religions function, and what role they play to the people who incorporate them into their belief systems.
“The novel tells us the story of how the residents of the small town of Milagro for years been oppressed by Ladd Devine, the far-too-wealthy-for-his own-good owner of the Ladd Devine Sheep Company. He is a man who is removed from all of the small ceremonies and traditional folk beliefs that tie the other characters together. He is not a member of the community as defined by the community’s acceptance of and practice of its own tradition of folk religion and ceremony.”