Águila: The Vision, Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Two-Spirit Shaman in the Ozark Mountains (Paperback)

Águila: The Vision, Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Two-Spirit Shaman in the Ozark Mountains By María Cristina Moroles, Lauri Umansky Cover Image
Ships from our supplier - you choose to your home or to the store


In Águila: The Vision, Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Two-Spirit Shaman in the Ozark Mountains, María Cristina Moroles traces the path of her extraordinary life from the streets of Dallas to the wilderness of the Arkansas Ozarks, where she has resided for fifty years. Hailing from a large Indigenous and Mexican American family in Texas, Moroles apprentices herself to healers and shamans across the Americas as she follows the spiritual vision that leads her to establish a mountaintop sanctuary for women and children of color in a notoriously insular location in the Ozark Mountains. This is a survivor’s tale, and a back-to-the-lander’s tale, unlike any other. From early traumas to countercultural rebellion and profound spiritual awakening, Moroles recounts milestones that earn her the ceremonial names SunHawk and Águila, as she builds a sustainable community off the grid, atop a mountain otherwise uninhabited by human life. Águila tells the truth of one woman’s search for freedom and all women’s quest for dignity as it celebrates the healing powers of nature.

About the Author

María Cristina Moroles is matriarch of Arco Iris, a healing sanctuary in the Ozark Mountains originally established for women and children of color and the queer community and now open to all people seeking healing. Moroles lives on the five-hundred-acre wilderness preserve in community with her children, Jennifer and Mario; visiting students; and other resident stewards. Also known by the ceremonial name Águila, she incorporates her Indigenous and Mexican American heritage in her work as a curandera, master massage therapist, and shaman. She is co-founder of the Arco Iris Earth Care Project.
Lauri Umansky teaches history and directs the Heritage Studies PhD Program at Arkansas State University. Her books include Motherhood Reconceived: Feminism and the Legacies of the Sixties, Naked Is the Best Disguise (pseud. Lauri Lewin), “Bad” Mothers: The Politics of Blame in Twentieth-Century America, Impossible to Hold: Women and Culture in the 1960s, and The New Disability History: American Perspectives.

Praise For…

“This impressive chronicle of the lifework of a powerful Indigenous woman wrestling with personal, familial, and cultural survival is also a story of the landscapes of Texas and Arkansas, which emerge as sites of birth, death, safety, and danger. A wonderful book.”
—Pippa Holloway, Cornerstone Chair in History, University of Richmond

“I have long admired the work of María Cristina Moroles at Arco Iris, and now Águila celebrates her life and vision. Filled with stories from Moroles’s life deftly assembled by Lauri Umansky, Águila demonstrates how to live honoring visions of peace and justice. Moroles has led a life filled with meaning and purpose; reading Águila, all may witness and emulate. Águila is fantastic!”
—Julie R. Enszer, editor and publisher, Sinister Wisdom

Águila is beautifully written and powerfully engaging. It moves and touches you while simultaneously deepening and complicating the narrative about life in the Ozark Mountains. And it does this through the lens of a woman of color residing in a women-centered community. One cannot help but be inspired by Águila’s struggle, despair, hope, resilience, and power as she resisted the forces that would otherwise leave her unnamed and unacknowledged as she lives her life as freely and audaciously as possible.”
—Cherisse Jones-Branch, dean of the graduate school and professor of history, Arkansas State University

Product Details
ISBN: 9781682262580
ISBN-10: 1682262588
Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
Publication Date: February 26th, 2024
Pages: 208
Language: English