Witchcraft in the Southwest: Spanish and Indian Supernaturalism on the Rio Grande

Witchcraft in the Southwest: Spanish and Indian Supernaturalism on the Rio Grande

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by Marc Simmons
     
 

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"Occasionally a truly remarkable book appears-one that takes a topic in need of discussion, thoroughly researches it, and presents credible results in a fascinating and extremely well manner. Witchcraft in the Southwest is such a volume, and as such, is a must for all readers, be they scholars, students, or others. . . . The volume devotes equal time to Spanish and

Overview

"Occasionally a truly remarkable book appears-one that takes a topic in need of discussion, thoroughly researches it, and presents credible results in a fascinating and extremely well manner. Witchcraft in the Southwest is such a volume, and as such, is a must for all readers, be they scholars, students, or others. . . . The volume devotes equal time to Spanish and Indian supernaturalism along the Rio Grande. Opening with a succinct review of the meaning and evolution of witchcraft in Europe and Spain, Simmons establishes the existence of many similar beliefs among native inhabitants of the New World. Moving chronologically to Spanish colonization, the author vividly conveys Spanish reactions to Pueblo life and religion, the fears of witches and other supernatural forces that plagued Spanish colonists. . . . Emphasizing the beliefs and nature of witchcraft rather than the actual mechanics (which are secret), he follows Hispanic communities into the late 19th century. . . . Readers learn how witchcraft fits into the Pueblo world view and how it compares and contrasts with European and Spanish varieties in such areas as motivation, types, powers, beliefs and means of acquisition. . . . Simmons' study provides a needed overview and one that is carefully based on available ethnohistorical documents and credible anthropological data."-American Indian Quarterly

A professional historian, author, editor, and translator, Marc Simmons has published numerous books and monographs on the Southwest as well as articles in more than twenty scholarly and popular journals.

Editorial Reviews

American Indian Quarterly

"Occasionally a truly remarkable book appears—one that takes a topic in need of discussion, thoroughly researches it, and presents credible results in a fascinating and extremely well manner. Witchcraft in the Southwest is such a volume, and as such, is a must for all readers, be they scholars, students, or others. . . . The volume devotes equal time to Spanish and Indian supernaturalism along the Rio Grande. Opening with a succinct review of the meaning and evolution of witchcraft in Europe and Spain, Simmons establishes the existence of many similar beliefs among native inhabitants of the New World. Moving chronologically to Spanish colonization, the author vividly conveys Spanish reactions to Pueblo life and religion, the fears of witches and other supernatural forces that plagued Spanish colonists. . . . Emphasizing the beliefs and nature of witchcraft rather than the actual mechanics (which are secret), he follows Hispanic communities into the late 19th century. . . . Readers learn how witchcraft fits into the Pueblo world view and how it compares and contrasts with European and Spanish varieties in such areas as motivation, types, powers, beliefs and means of acquisition. . . . Simmons’ study provides a needed overview and one that is carefully based on available ethnohistorical documents and credible anthropological data."—American Indian Quarterly
Westways Magazine

"The narrative abounds in gothic tales of the bizarre, made more intriguing because European black arts became intertwined with native cults of animal worship, superstitions, herbalism and myths. The witch craze which seized three pueblos, Nambé, Zuñi and Pecos, is graphically reported. . . . A concluding chapter discusses the legacy that still lingers on the contemporary scene. It all makes for fascinating reading."—Westways Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803291164
Publisher:
University of Nebraska Press
Publication date:
03/01/1980
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.42(d)
Lexile:
1540L (what's this?)

Meet the Author


A professional historian, author, editor, and translator, Marc Simmons has published numerous books and monographs on the Southwest as well as articles in more than twenty scholarly and popular journals.

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Witchcraft in the Southwest: Spanish and Indian Supernaturalism on the Rio Grande 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While the author's description of magical beliefs among Latinos and Native Americans is interesting, his claims regarding witchcraft beliefs and the persecution of its alledged practitioners throughout history is based upon common, and largely innacurate, lore found in numerous popular works, but discounted by genuine scholars. A couple of early examples in his text are his citation of the works of Margeret Murray, whose published opionions were discounted even in her own day by other, more qualified, anthropolgists, as being absolute nonsense.. He further states that the reason so many witches were executed had to do with their being female in a male dominated world. The historical record indicates, in fact, that far more women accused others of being witches than did men, and an equal number of men were actually executed for the practice. Given these innacurate claims in his very first chapter, and not veering from them throughout the text, the author tarnishes what might otherwise have been a valuable addition to the literature on the topic of esoteric beliefs.