The most intriguing repositories of history we encountered during a recent visit to the ancient province of Tuspa (now the municipality of Tuxpan, some 90 miles south of Guadalajara) were people of Nahua ancestry. And among the most delightful of these were two elderly sisters thought by many townspeople, our Nahua hosts told us, to be brujas (witches).
“Mucha gente les tiene miedo,” said Nina, the 83-year old matriarch of the family with whom we were staying. “Many people are afraid of them. They think they cast spells.”
“But what do you think, Nina,” someone asked.
“Pos, they’re comadres of mine, are they not? Primas, cousins. I think they’re little old ladies with strange habits. I don’t think they’d even know how to cast a spell.” Nina giggled like a girl, her creased cheeks crinkling with merriment. Then she appraised her North American visitors, and said mischievously, “But who knows what goes on behind those old adobe walls.” She squinted at us and giggled again.