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SPAIN: La Diablesa

A posting on a religious ceremony in Venezuela said "The Devil is male Women are not allowed to be devils. Is this a profound truth?". Christopher Jones replies: "Not true. If you visit the cathedral in Elche in Alicante province, you can admire a buxom female devil called "La Diablesa." I believe it dates from the 18th century, so it's quite recent. The whole question of female devils fades into the generalized accusation of witchcraft -- brujeria. The meigas of Galicia, who are of Celtic origin are "good" witches. Pío Baroja's nephew, Pío Caro Baroja wrote a book about the history of witchcraft in Spain which unfortunately I have never been able to locate". RH: The "Diablesa" of Elche is an aberration. Witches are women. They do the work of the Devil. Male chauvinism in Hell. Before Christianity witches were good. Years ago I was in Elche, famous for its date palm grove. the only one in Europe. Technically, Santa María is a basilica. As far as I can tell, that refers to the shape of the building, although it must be so designated by the Pope. It is an impressive building, with notable paintings. However, I did not notice the female devil. Christopher must be more observant than I.

Ronald Hilton - 7/10/03