MOJACAR: WHERE HAVE ALL THE WITCHES GONE?
Ric Polansky ©
That famed moniker seems to have vanished; Mojacar—“corner of enchantment”. It just doesn’t seem the same anymore. Where have all the witches gone? Long time passing.
In just forty years they seem to have all flown way. Migrated? or just gone underground? But the village doesn’t seem the same without them. The gossip not as vibrant nor the malicious rumors as cutting. Not to mention the curses that could hobble your neighbor for life. Why the whole tradition of the Indalo was for protection against just such evil eyed curses laid upon you or the family.
No one trusted anyone? The town was totally religious gone whacked. More than 8 small chapels were placed strategically around the small village in case, while passing, you felt the glare of strange eyes or malevolent thoughts sent your way you could pop in and pray and get rid of the curse. When that didn’t seem to work news went out that the “Indalo” hung next to the front door would save you.
Most of them were just painted on the walls and if that wasn’t enough, painted near windows too. Of course visitors to our fair place observed the quaint custom and the jewelry business was born. I believe Mojacar now has more shops selling Indalos than bars whereas once there existed 98 bars throughout the village. You could go bar hopping in those days without walking more than twenty steps the whole evening.
We had good witches (brujas), bad witches and evil witches. Witches to help women get pregnant, help your business deals and keep the police away from you.
And you know the story, witches attract witches and soon we had gaggles of them, then cauldrons. They were on every street corner propositioning you. “Hey big boy, got any one you want sorted? I can cripple them or make them lose all their money”.
Competition was frenzied and bitter. And those brujas all lived A good life. No one messed with them. No matter how crazy you Considered someone, or how outrageous their comments were one didn’t jump for the chance of a quick rebuke or polished put-down. It might be a witch or married to one.
Discretion was the better part of valor; unless of course, if you were entertaining another witch at your table then curses be forgotten and some damn good broom stick clashes ensued. Some awfully colorful language was used and venom spit at close quarters. I once witnessed a sailor run down the hill screaming with fright. His language couldn’t compete and he’d never had a pint sized lady in black threaten him before.
Of course, not far from where witches exist abound the other do gooders the “curanderos” who can heal most evil malignancies that doctors haven’t been able to cure. We had a few light weights in town but nobody like the famed Tio Nickolai from Purullena on the old road to Granada where you can buy also sorts of nick knacks and pottery. Helping to bring Mojacar into the 21st century Lenox Napier wrote quite a sober article in English concerning curanderos and others that flail magic wands, spitting tobacco on their patients and waving smoke into tea cups.
Hell, it made sense to me and others in town but it caused nothing less than a war between the two villages. Tio Nickolai was a saint in Perulllena. He lived meagerly, never accepted money and could cure the severely ill. His fame was known throughout Spain. Hundreds of cars were bequeathed him, brand new shiny ones, old fabled Mercedez, sports cars and touring cars. The town was full of cars all because Tio Nickolai couldn’t drive nor would he sell them or give them away. If you wanted to go shopping you had to park and walk about two miles to get into town such was his fame. Truck loads of townsmen were galvanized to be bussed down to Mojacar and serve up some justice. Not even the witches would/could help. Fortunately Lenox wrote a retraction (again in Ingles) and saved each and everyone of us from being pounded into the ground like wooden stakes.
Now they’ve all gone. Flown away and are at some other village reputedly in the Alpujarras serving out justice and dispensing evil. And what did we get out of it—the Indalo of course; Mojacar’s legacy from the witches.