Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Katrina Rasbold, author of the new Crossroads of Conjure. Here are ten facts that lend texture and flavor to this fascinating path:. Our thanks to Katrina for her guest post!
Where does brujería come from?
Pocho Aztlan is the band's first release since Brujerizmo was released in via Roadrunner. It was recorded over the course of many years and at several studios around the globe. When the band first emerged from the sunbaked hellscape of Los Angeles in , the city was on the brink of chaos. Daryl Gates ruled the LAPD with an iron fist, overseeing a legion of blue-suited stormtroopers who cracked brown and black skulls at every opportunity.
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Then, the video cuts. The women reappear on screen—but this time, they're modern-day brujas performing a seance in the woods. The West-African Yoruba religion, for instance, is estimated by some anthropologists to have been practiced for thousands of years. She is the founder of Las Brujas Radio , an online radio talk show based in Oakland, California that holds space for spirituality as a form of healing in femme communities of color. The practices typically involve cleansing, ancestor worship, lighting candles, and honoring the earth through goddesses Oshun and Elegua, for instance. And while mysticism was practiced with all sorts of intentions by both sexes, sexual and romantic rituals performed by women were particularly prevalent. Baher indicates that this phenomenon could be explained by the fact that, in the 16th century, women of all social levels lost most of their legal autonomy after marriage—while their husbands retained the right to beat their wives or have illicit affairs. So, rather than counting on a judiciary and religious system that would only let them down, women turned to sexual magic and witchcraft to combat omnipresent patriarchal domination.
In the colonial city of Trinidad, Cuba — a major port during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade — locals say the deep cobbled stone streets were paved with the bones of slaves. I remember suddenly trembling as I looked around a popular restaurant to find its walls decorated in actual torture devices used during the slave trade. In the United States, we tend to cover up the shame of slavery, our history — but in Trinidad, history is laid bare for all to see. But even with these seemingly benign media depictions, brujas are often reduced to stereotypes and still conjure a sense of fear in many people.