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Maclovia Sanchez de Zamora papers

Identifier: MSS-898-BC

Scope and Content

The collection contains the history of B. Ruppe Drugs and its resident curandera Maclovia B. Sanchez de Zamora through photographs, correspondence, articles and writings. Also included are awards, presentations, workshop materials and a short film that demonstrate Sanchez de Zamora’s local and national recognition as a curandera. Of particular interest are her notecards detailing herbs and their uses.


  • 1933-2010
  • Majority of material found within 1992-2010

Language of Materials

English Spanish

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biography / History

B. Ruppe Drugs is an independent drugstore specializing in medicines and the cultural traditions of curanderas (healers). Originally, Ruppe Drugs featured traditional healing remedies, modern pharmaceuticals, and everything in between. In 1883, Mr. Bernard Ruppe bought the drugstore, located on the Old Town Plaza in Albuquerque, New Mexico from New Mexican druggist E.V. Kent. Ownership changed hands in 1937 after the passing of Ruppe when Ruppe’s clerk, Alberto J. Alarid bought the store from Ruppe’s heirs. In 1949, Tom Sanchez (Maclovia Sanchez de Zamora’s brother in law), who earned a pharmacy degree from the University of New Mexico, bought the business and in 1964 moved the store to its current location 807 Fourth Street S.W.

Maclovia B. Sanchez de Zamora is an herbalist and curandera (healer) who has been recognized locally and nationally for her leadership in expanding the study and use of yerberas (medicinal herbs used to treat ailments). Maclovia, born on June 30, 1931 in Belen, New Mexico, learned the skills of a curandera from her step grandmother, Antonita. Although introduced to the tradition of healing early in life, Maclovia did not use her gift of healing until adulthood. After high school, Maclovia married Eloy L. Zamora. Her husband worked for the Air Force and the couple lived in various states until Eloy retired in New Mexico. Maclovia started working at B. Ruppe Drugs in 1981. Her step grandmother’s teachings kicked in and she became part owner of the drugstore by 1986. Clients sought out Maclovia’s expertise and advice. Her reputation expanded to a national level when the Smithsonian Institute asked Maclovia to present at the Center for Folk Like and Cultural Heritage in 1992. Her collaboration with the Smithsonian continued and by 2003 Maclovia worked as a consultant for the museum’s traveling exhibit entitled “el Rio," designed to educate the public about the preservation and renewal of local cultural heritage. The exhibit included a replica of B. Ruppe Drugs, now housed at the Maxwell Museum at the University of New Mexico.

Zamora recently put B. Ruppe Drugs up for sale, but hopes that her family will keep the curandera tradition alive. Zamora has six children, 18 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Her legacy of healing continues through her teaching and lecturing at health fairs, festivals, Senior Centers, conferences and educational institutions.


1 box (1 cu. ft.)


The collection documents the history of B. Ruppe Drugs and its resident curandera (healer) Maclovia B. Sanchez de Zamora through photographs, correspondence, articles and writings.

Separated Material

The published audio guide entitled, An Introduction to Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya has been added to the general collections at the University of New Mexico Libraries. An archival copy of the DVD “Curadera: Maclovia Zamora" is housed in B3.
Finding Aid of the Maclovia Sanchez de Zamora papers, 1933-2010
Edited Full Draft
Jordan Biro
© 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131