Carole A. Myscofski's Amazons, Wives, Nuns, and Witches: Women and the Catholic PDF

By Carole A. Myscofski

ISBN-10: 0292748531

ISBN-13: 9780292748538

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 by means of the Church’s beliefs for natural ladies, in addition to by way of parallel thoughts within the Iberian honor code for girls. documents left through 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 in the course of the colonial interval. but those related files additionally offer evocative glimpses of the spiritual ideals and practices that have been specially adored or independently constructed by means of girls for his or her personal use, constituting a separate international for other halves, moms, concubines, nuns, and witches.

Drawing on huge unique examine in fundamental manuscript and published assets from Brazilian libraries and data, in addition to secondary Brazilian historic works, Carole Myscofski proposes to put in writing Brazilian girls again into heritage, to appreciate how they lived their lives in the society created by means of the Portuguese imperial govt and Luso-Catholic ecclesiastical associations. Myscofski deals specified explorations of the Catholic colonial perspectives of the perfect girl, the styles in women’s schooling, the spiritual perspectives on marriage and sexuality, the heritage of women’s convents and retreat homes, and the advance of magical practices between girls in that period. one of many few wide-ranging histories of ladies in colonial Latin the USA, this e-book makes a vital 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

Sample text

49 The ancient world may have given literary birth to the Amazon warrior, but the first account from the New World of Amazons and the eponymous river may be found in the Relación written by the Dominican brother Gaspar de Carvajal who accompanied Captain Francisco de Orellana on his first journey down the then-­named Marañon River. Orellana had been sent by Gonzalo Pizarro in 1541 to explore and raid the eastern Incan lands for provisions, but he instead undertook an independent trip downriver, traveling from Peru to the island of Cubagua, near present-­day Venezuela.

Despite the expansive language of discovery to justify the conquest of new lands, women had few opportunities to contribute to the Iberian empire, its direction, or its governance in the sixteenth century. Repressive notions concerning the proper place of women interwove with the images of the wilderness and further distorted the descriptions of the New World from the earliest explorers and conquerors. The social conflicts of early modern Europe tended to heighten the dichotomous expec- Amazons and Cannibals { 23 } tations, so that religious institutions there challenged the disparate forces of evil, and virtuous men denounced women as demons, witches, or sorceresses.

Innocent and Compliant: The First Images of Brazilian Women As noted above, many of the earliest reports about Brazilian Indian women portrayed them as simple and vulnerable creatures. Barbaric customs aside, tribal women were extolled as healthy, vigorous, and sturdy workers who would be readily conquered by the superiority of Portuguese civilization. Once civilized and converted to the Christian faith, they might “evolve” into compliant catechumens and servants of the will of the empire. Missionaries, explorers, and artists alike suggested that the sincere efforts and material culture of the colonizers would be sufficient to begin the transformation of the barbarian women.

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Amazons, Wives, Nuns, and Witches: Women and the Catholic Church in Colonial Brazil, 1500-1822 by Carole A. Myscofski


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