The death cart is an object that was used in acts of corporal penance performed by the Hermanos de la Fraternidad Piadosa de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno. The Brotherhoods were secretive, lay-religious fraternal organizations that served the spiritual needs of Hispanic Roman Catholics in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Public processions reenacted the sorrow and suffering of Christ’s final days. The female Angel of Death, Doña Sebastiana, serves as a reminder of human mortality and the importance of preparing for a good death through prayer and virtuous deeds.
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