Michael Dean Murphy
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Since 1984 Dr. Murphy has been studying Andalusian Marianism with a field research focus on the pilgrimage to La Virgen del Rocio, a statue of the Virgin Mary whose shrine is located in the marshlands of the Guadalquivir River. Much of this work has been done in collaboration with Dr. Juan Carlos González Faraco of the Universidad de Huelva. The two have also investigated the round up and drive of horses from the marshes of Doñana National Park to the Andalusian town of Almonte. In addition to its continuing importance as a venerable local cultural practice, the annual round-up of marsh mares constitutes the last remnant of the Spanish equestrian and livestock cultural complex that directly inspired the free-range ranching traditions of the gaucho, the vaquero, and the cowboy of the Western Hemisphere.