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Where have all the witches gone?

2020 Camino Guides

Emily

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2005
I walked the Camino Frances 15 years ago and remember seeing lots of tourist and other items with witches on them as soon as I entered Galicia. Santiago in particular had lots of kitschy witches. I just walked the Camino Portugues and arrived to hardly a broomstick or witch in sight. What has happened to the witches?
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Are witches a thing in Portugal? They abound in O Cebreiro and again in Santiago, but Portugal? There is not a lot of commerce between Tui and Santiago, so it does not surprise me that witches are missing.
 

doctorherman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances*3, Ingles, Primitivo, Finisterre, Baztan, and Portuguese
A few years ago I was shocked to see the albergue Hostal in Moratinos transformed into a hostal of horror. When I got there cancelled my reservation and stayed in the albergue San Bruno instead. http://rutadelterror666.blogspot.com/
 

K Turner

One step at a time
Camino(s) past & future
14 August 2019 (SJPdP 16 August)
Last month I only recall seeing "witch" items in Finisterre. It stood out to me because I hadn't seen any before on the CF, but I could have just missed them. Finisterre though was memorable because of the quantity of items.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
I walked the Camino Frances 15 years ago and remember seeing lots of tourist and other items with witches on them as soon as I entered Galicia. Santiago in particular had lots of kitschy witches. I just walked the Camino Portugues and arrived to hardly a broomstick or witch in sight. What has happened to the witches?
About 3 weeks ago I was in Lugo - there witches abound.
 

TaijiPilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
When I walked the Frances in 2011, I also noticed the presence of things "witchy" in Galicia. In 2015, there was a lot less. When I reached Santiago in 2011, I visited the Galician folk museum and asked about the witches. The receptionist told me Galicia has a long tradition of wirches. There are "braga" (not sure of spelling) and meiga. Meiga are good witches - more like knowledgeable healers using their herbal knowledge than like the wicked witch of the west. Then the receptionist told me she was a meiga from a family of meigas! I believed her. If you walk the Camino Ingles you walk through the "enchanted forest" and pass a flying witch on a broomstick!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I walked the Camino Frances 15 years ago and remember seeing lots of tourist and other items with witches on them as soon as I entered Galicia. Santiago in particular had lots of kitschy witches. I just walked the Camino Portugues and arrived to hardly a broomstick or witch in sight. What has happened to the witches?
Oh, there ARE witches in Portugal.
:::whispering::: they just don't advertise. ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I agree
the more correct question should be "wat happened to the broomsticks?" ;)

View attachment 65818

that said...here is a link to one of Annie's posts from her blog:
The Witches of Logroño
LOL! I'd sort of forgotten about that blog post.
I remember now what inspired me to write about this.
A friend of a friend of a friend was wanting to walk the Camino so the friend's friend invited me for coffee to chat with the gal and help her a bit with her planning. She was convinced she was going to meet up with some Basque witches and celebrate Full Moon. In the end, it didn't work out as she planned. She left the Camino after one or two nights on the Camino, where her fellow pilgrims apparently laughed at her for snoring too loudly. Needless to say, the witches stayed hidden. :😁:
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Spanish is bruja (pronounced Broo-HAH) and Galician is bruxa (Broo-ZHAH). I don't think I've ever heard of braga being a witch (in both languages it means panty or panties....)
But then...who knows what with local dialects
Yes, the word is bruxa (not braga), pronounced Broo- Shah.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
Broo-Shah, Broo-Zhah… which is why I mentioned local dialects
kind of the same way some Germans say 'eeKH' and some - 'eeSH' for ich

But over-all we are on the same page; I can easily see how it was mistaken (if you will) for braga (may be some Rioja helped.... :)🍾🍷
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Broo-Shah, Broo-Zhah… which is why I mentioned local dialects
kind of the same way some Germans say 'eeKH' and some - 'eeSH' for ich

But over-all we are on the same page; I can easily see how it was mistaken (if you will) for braga (may be some Rioja helped.... :)🍾🍷
In all Galicia the X of bruxa sounds SH, no matter the dialect.
I think that ZH would be the sound of Portuguese J,
 

Emily

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2005
Last month I only recall seeing "witch" items in Finisterre. It stood out to me because I hadn't seen any before on the CF, but I could have just missed them. Finisterre though was memorable because of the quantity of items.
On my way!
 

Tulle

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
1999 Burgos-SDC, 2003 Leon-SDC, 2007-2012 Le Puy-SDC, 2014 Burgos-Covarrubias, Camino Ingles 3 times
C77C54A4-8169-4428-97F2-6D1C489E323E.jpeg ACC9ACE7-49C5-46DC-B62A-8880062CF1E3.jpeg D408D6DC-2CE4-4310-AE0D-63D847C705A3.jpeg Hard times for witches on Camino Ingles. The two first pictures from 2016, the last from 2017.
 

cecelia

several caminos- '03-'13
I love the story I was told at the end of my first camino in 2003.
Like many, after the excitement of arriving at Santiago and receiving my compostela, I wandered into various stores, not willing to just sit and rest. One of the first stores I entered was full of what I thought of as "kitchen witches".
I asked a 30-something, young (to me) man if there was any significance to the overwhelming number of "brujas" hanging from the ceiling. He looked at me slowly and said in Spanish, "Well - you are perhaps aware that the people from Galicia are of Celtic origin". I nodded and he continued "The Celtic people have a tradition of having certain families of females who are healers. They are called "Meigas", not brujas, and that tradition has not been completely forgotten by us here in Galicia."
"However," he continued, "Of course we are now a very modern people and we don't go to Meigas, we go to doctors and hospitals when we are sick. As modern people, we want to forget all the strange old traditions and when we create these witches to look funny, it helps us to forget."
"But" he said, "When the doctors can't heal us, we know that the Meigas can, and we go to them for healing. It is in this situation, that our funny witch images help us to remember".
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Was Galicia able to protect her Meigas from burning, during Isabella's inquisition?
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Was Galicia able to protect her Meigas from burning, during Isabella's inquisition?
Meigas survived the inquisition but no the modern times.
The last meiga in the Galician area that I know died 50+ years ago.
She was an old woman who lived alone in an old house but I don´t know what she did and why she was considered a meiga, so I have my doubts about it.
 

WayWalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2016
Walk the Espirtual variante on the Portugese and you will see an entire town of them in Combarro!
 

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