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Brujería is the Spanish-language word for "witchcraft". People of both sexes can practice; men are called brujo(s), women are called bruja(s)


There is no sound etymology for this word, which appears only in Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, and Galician (other romance languages use words derived from Latin strix, -igis, originally an owl). The word may be inherited from a Celtiberian substrate or it may derive from the Latin plusscius, -a, um (> plus + scius),[1] a hapax attested in the Cena Trimalchionis, a central part in Petronius' Satyricon,[2] and meaning roughly "that knows a lot."[3] Pluscia could have arisen from rhotacization of the /l/ and voicing of the /p/, pluscia> pruscia> bruscia> bruxa (Portuguese)> bruja (Spanish).[4]

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the 1987 horror film The Believers, a Brujería cult is suspected in a series of child murders.
  • In the television series True Blood, Jesus Velasquez (played by Kevin Alejandro) is a Mexican brujo.
  • In the television series Constantine, the Brujería are revealed to be the series antagonists. They are depicted as ancient magical creatures cursed by God and rejected by Hell who were thought to have been destroyed by the Great Flood but have survived in hiding.
  • In the movie Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, actress Gloria Sandoval plays a bruja who is a part of a worldwide coven of witches.
  • In the television series Power, drug dealer Nomar Arcielo (played by Vinicius Machado) refers to FBI agent Angela Valdez (played by Lela Loren) as "bruja" due to his distrust of her.
  • In the television series Ash vs Evil Dead, Pablo's uncle is a brujo who sends Ash on an ayahuasca trip, and helps him defeat a Deadite.
  • In the crime novel The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly, a character describes "an impromptu 'marriage' on the beach officiated by an artist friend who was ordained in a cult-like Mexican religion called brujería".
  • Azealia Banks released a series of videos on Instagram showing her cleaning up the remains of sacrificed chickens, claiming to be practicing brujería.
  • Aja (drag queen) released a single titled “Brujería” in May 2018.
  • In the manga and anime Bleach by Tite Kubo the arrancar Zommari Rureax's Resurrección is named Brujería.
  • In the 2018 reboot of Charmed, the three Cruz sisters will explore their roots as descendants of Brujería.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Oxford Latin Dictionary, Oxford. Clarendon Press: 1968
  2. ^ "sunt mulieres plusciae, sunt nocturnae",63.9
  3. ^ Olivetti, Enrico. "Plusscius." Latin-English Dictionary. Latin Dictionary, Olivetti Media Communication,
  4. ^ Ali, Said, Investigações Filológicas, 1975, pag. 275


  • Ankarloo, B. & Clark, S, (2002) Witchcraft and Magic in Europe: the period of the witch trials
  • Guiley, Rosemary Ellen (1989) The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, New York: Facts-on-File.

Further reading[edit]

  • Spence, L. (1994) The Magic and Mysteries of Mexico
  • Christian, W.A., Jr. (1989) Local Religion in Sixteenth-Century Spain
  • Henningsen, G. (1980) The Witches' Advocate: Basque Witchcraft and the Spanish Inquisition (1609-1614)
  • Castaneda, C. (1968) The Teachings of Don Juan
  • Romberg, Raquel (2002) "Witchcraft and Welfare: Spiritual Capital and the Business of Magic in Modern Puerto Rico"
  • Chatwin, Bruce In Patagonia
  • Kinnie, Ernest The Brujo....2-Act Play