Witchy Woman


A well done PowerPoint presentation by university student Sarah Macedo. She highlights Pope and Vatican sponsored abhorrent treatment of California Indian women and all women of our world in general. Era of missions in California is simply a horrifying time which reflects over a thousand years of Christianity belief women are wanton witches victimizing and luring good Christian men into mortal sins of the flesh.

Additional pertinent quotes from the Castañeda article:

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In the confessional, priests queried both women and men about their sexual lives and activities and meted out punishments. While prohibitions against fornication, adultery, sodomy, incest, bestiality, and coitus interruptus applied to all, abortion and infanticide - violations of the Fifth Commandment, which condemned killing - applied specifically to women and were punished harshly. Hugo Reid writes that the priests at Mission San Gabriel attributed all miscarriages to infanticide and the Gabrielino women were punished by ‘shaving the head, flogging for fifteen subsequent days, [wearing] iron on the feet for three months, and having to appear every Sunday in church, on the steps leading up the altar, with a hideous painted wooden child [a monigote] in her arms' representing the dead infant....

Father Olbes at Mission Santa Cruz ordered an infertile couple to have sexual intercourse in his presence because he did not believe they could not have children. The couple refused, but Olbes forcibly inspected the man's penis to learn ‘whether or not it was in good order' and tried to inspect the woman's genitalia. She refused, fought with him, and tried to bite him. Olbes ordered that she be tied by the hands, and given fifty lashes, shackled, and locked up in the monjero (women's dormitory)....

Ostensibly, all women in colonial Mexico and Latin America, like their counterparts throughout the Christian world, were suspected of being witches on the basis of gender....

Ruth Behar argues that women used sexualized magic to control men and subvert the male order by symbolically using their own bodies and bodily fluids as a source of power over men. Accordingly, sexual witchcraft included the use of menstrual blood, wash water, pubic hair, and ensorcelled food to attract, tame or tie men into submission or, sometimes, to harm or kill a physically abusive or unfaithful husband or lover. ...

... they poisoned the priest's food, practiced fugitivism, worshipped their own deities, had visions that others believed and followed, performed prohibited dances and rituals, refused to abide by patriarchal sexual norms, and continued to participate in armed revolts and rebellions against the missions, soldiers, and ranchos....

- Castañeda, Antonia I.
- "Engendering the History of Alta California,
- 1769-1848: Gender, Sexuality, and the Family."
- California History, vol. 76, no. 2/3, 1997, pp. 230 - 259.
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