Meigas – Galician witches
A dictionary of Spanish history and culture
Meigas are the famed witches of Galica, though the term is also used in León and Asturias. The word meiga derives from the Latin magicus. Meigas can be good or evil, ugly or stunningly beautiful. Most dangerous among the northern witches are the meigas-chuchonas, the much feared Galician sucker-hags.
The popular Galician expression, Eu non creo nas meigas, pero habelas hainas; (also used in Spanish Yo no creo en las brujas, pero haberlas, haylas; – I don’t believe in witches, but they exist), is said to encapsulate the balance in the Galician character between practicality, incredulity and mysticism.
In the rest of Spain, witches are known as brujas (bruixes en Catalan). Witchcraft is brujería.
If you are curious to learn more about the history of witchcraft, read the latest article by halloween express.
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