Amazons, Wives, Nuns, and Witches: Women and the Catholic by Carole A. Myscofski

By Carole A. Myscofski

The Roman Catholic church performed a dominant position in colonial Brazil, in order that women’s lives within the colony have been formed and restricted via the Church’s beliefs for natural ladies, in addition to by means of parallel recommendations within the Iberian honor code for girls. files left by means of Jesuit missionaries, Roman Catholic church officers, and Portuguese Inquisitors clarify that women’s day-by-day lives and their possibilities for marriage, schooling, and non secular perform have been sharply circumscribed during the colonial interval. but those comparable files additionally offer evocative glimpses of the non secular ideals and practices that have been in particular adored or independently constructed via girls for his or her personal use, constituting a separate global for better halves, moms, concubines, nuns, and witches.

Drawing on huge unique study in fundamental manuscript and published assets from Brazilian libraries and documents, in addition to secondary Brazilian ancient works, Carole Myscofski proposes to jot down Brazilian ladies again into background, to appreciate how they lived their lives in the society created via the Portuguese imperial executive and Luso-Catholic ecclesiastical associations. Myscofski bargains specified explorations of the Catholic colonial perspectives of the precise girl, the styles in women’s schooling, the non secular perspectives on marriage and sexuality, the background of women’s convents and retreat homes, and the improvement of magical practices between girls in that period. one of many few wide-ranging histories of girls in colonial Latin the USA, this e-book makes an important contribution to our wisdom of the early smooth Atlantic World.

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Extra resources for Amazons, Wives, Nuns, and Witches: Women and the Catholic Church in Colonial Brazil, 1500-1822

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46 Indigenous American mythology may have contributed to the perpetuation of European myths of Amazons in the Amazon, with motifs of independent women or the separate creation of the two sexes. Women in the Tupian and Arawak communities in northeastern Brazil actually fought alongside male warriors and led separate women’s sodalities—which may have confirmed European lore. Indeed, by the 1520s, more stories appeared in Europe to elaborate the ancient tales. 47 Conquistador Hernán Cortés suggested the name “California” for “the Amazon Queen Califia .

The captive warned that men were usually banned from the land of the Amazons, but some were brought in to serve as consorts and warriors for the women. 56 The Jesuits, too, contributed to the lore about hidden communities of Amazon women. In 1553, Manuel da Nóbrega repeated another account of Amazons concocted by men returning from two years of gold prospecting in the Brazilian interior. Unlike the dangerous coastal Tupí, inland tribes supposedly resided in great cities and obeyed a great prince who assigned each day’s work and distributed food to all.

54 As the interrogation continued, the ancient European motifs intertwined with the new story: { 40 } Amazons, Wives, Nuns, and Witches The Captain asked if these women bore children: the Indian answered that they did. The Captain asked him how, not being married and there being no man among them, they became pregnant: he said that these Indian women consorted with Indian men at times, and, when that desire came to them, they assembled a great horde of warriors and went off to make war on a very great overlord whose residence is not far from that .

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