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Monday, February 25, 2008

Basque traditional religion (2)

(pl. sorginak) , normally translated as "witch". From sor(-tu): "to create", and -gin or -gile: "doer". Sorgin: creator, possibly also linked to their role as midwifes.

Legend tells of sorginak as real people, leaders of the akelarre, practitioners of "magic" (rather herbal knowledge) and members of a secret yet widespread society. Ez geala ba geala, hamalau mila ba geala: we are not, yes we are, fourteen thousand indeed we are.

Legend tells of sorginak as genie too: the main aids of Mari, the Basque Goddess.

History tells of sorginak too: as victims of persecutions by the Inquisition: thousands were perseucted by the Inquisition or lesser judiciary, all of whom suffered tortures and many of which were burnt at the stake. The worst period by far was the 16th century.

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