The Handless Maiden: Moriscos and the Politics of Religion in Early Modern Spain

The Handless Maiden: Moriscos and the Politics of Religion in Early Modern Spain

by Mary Elizabeth Perry
     
 

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ISBN-10: 069113054X

ISBN-13: 9780691130545

Pub. Date: 02/05/2007

Publisher: Princeton University Press

In 1502, a decade of increasing tension between Muslims and Christians in Spain culminated in a royal decree that Muslims in Castile wanting to remain had to convert to Christianity. Mary Elizabeth Perry uses this event as the starting point for a remarkable exploration of how Moriscos, converted Muslims and their descendants, responded to their increasing

Overview

In 1502, a decade of increasing tension between Muslims and Christians in Spain culminated in a royal decree that Muslims in Castile wanting to remain had to convert to Christianity. Mary Elizabeth Perry uses this event as the starting point for a remarkable exploration of how Moriscos, converted Muslims and their descendants, responded to their increasing disempowerment in sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century Spain. Stepping beyond traditional histories that have emphasized armed conflict from the view of victors, The Handless Maiden focuses on Morisco women. Perry argues that these women's lives offer vital new insights on the experiences of Moriscos in general, and on how the politics of religion both empowers and oppresses.

Drawing on archival documents, legends, and literature, Perry shows that the Moriscas carried out active resistance to cultural oppression through everyday rituals and acts. For example, they taught their children Arabic language and Islamic prayers, dietary practices, and the observation of Islamic holy days. Thus the home, not the battlefield, became the major forum for Morisco-Christian interaction. Moriscas' experiences further reveal how the Morisco presence provided a vital counter-identity for a centralizing state in early modern Spain. For readers of the twenty-first century, The Handless Maiden raises urgent questions of how we choose to use difference and historical memory.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691130545
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
02/05/2007
Series:
Jews, Christians, and Muslims from the Ancient to the Modern World Series
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations     ix
Foreword     xi
Acknowledgments     xv
Brief Chronology of the Moriscos     xvii
Abbreviations     xix
Introduction: From the Shadows     1
Memories, Myths, and the Handless Maiden     19
Madalena's Bath     38
Dangerous Domesticity     65
With Stones and Roasting Spits     88
Patience and Perseverance     109
The Castigation of Carcayona     133
Warehouse Children, Mixed Legacies, and Contested Identities     157
Bibliography     181
Index     197

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