The video for Princess Nokia’s “Brujas” opens with a striking yet intimate visual: A group of brown women clad in all-white wade in a body of water, tightly interlocking hands against the horizon of a gloomy sky. An indigenous song scores the cinematic scene as the camera hones in on a single figure veiled in blue, a reference to Yemayá, the ruler of the seas in Yoruba and Santería religions.
Then, the video cuts. The women reappear on screen—but this time, they’re modern-day brujas performing a seance in the woods.
Brujería, the Spanish language word for “witchcraft,” is typically used to refer to various spiritual practices that have been used by African, Caribbean, and indigenous Latin American populations for centuries. The West-African Yoruba religion, for instance, is estimated by some anthropologists to have been practiced for thousands of years. And Santería (also known as Lucumi) is an Afro-Cuban religion that took shape alongside the rise of Spanish colonization—and the arrival of Roman Catholicism—in Latin America in the 15th and 16th centuries. Today, brujería—and its accompanying bruja (Spanish for witch) title—are being taken up by a growing community of primarily Latinx women and femmes who want to tap into the mysticism of their heritage, often sharing images of their practice through social media or incorporating bruja culture into their creative pursuits.
Read More – The Young Brujas Reclaiming the Power of Their Ancestors – Broadly