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tale of Literature - Oral Tradition

written in Portuguese

This is a tale of Literature Oral Tradition, recreated by Eva Maria Machado and illustrated by Margaret Barbosa, who has many years in Guimarães. However, we can say that it is universal because it still continues to travel in the trunk of those going to other places, other countries. Tales of oral tradition have defined authorship or place of birth. Membership are the People, of all peoples that continue to reproduce and adapt to places and time. Therefore it is said that "anyone who tells a tale adds a point ...". This story, "Witches and water washed from the sky" retrieves the popular belief in magic of some water, and the mysterious powers of witches (or wise woman, healer, seer, sibyl, xara, arreganhadentes ...) that century after century, continue to fascinate both large and small. Witches of these stories do not resemble, for example, the witch of Snow White. Here, we find women who knew the people and often consulted because he knew where they lived, they were real ... name and says that the people in the street of St. Damasus lived three women who were witches and that, in addition to other powers, knew a potion magic can provoke a very strong passion to those who ingest. This potion was made with water washed cu. As these witches liked a man who walked through there, they decided to put the potion on bread and invite him to dinner. He, full of curiosity, accepted. Only things do not always go as scheduled and, after all, who ate the bread was not man but ...


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The entry of children into the world is full of mystery and magic moment, comprising a succession of gestures and rituals, very old, it is believed can be beneficial for the child's future. These practices are initiated soon after birth, highlighting the importance of the first bath and water use - water washed ass.

This water is alive, pure and profetizadora. That's why, right after a shower, can not be evicted anyway. In the popular saying, the fate of the child is traced by the path of the water as it flows. The water that washes the first time, a guy should be thrown out of the house, in the street or yard. Already the first water bath a girl should be poured into the house, the floor or in a store. It was said then that the happiness of the woman's home and the man outside.

One of the greatest terrors of the people when a child came into the world was that it was late talking. The belief in magic water determined that during the first days of life, children should drink water from washing ass, well away from the possibility of being dumb or too late to start talking. And, while it gave water to drink, was repeated: "aguinha do cu lavado para falar cedo e declarado."

Also attributed magical powers and evil eye, to collect or to physical or psychological health to others, a potion made with other waters washed ass, other than the first bath of baby ...

The following expressions were modes of explanation of strange ailments or invocations in view of the fulfillment of wishes or passionate love:

"Oh man, you gotta go see what's wrong with you, because it's not like you have to drink water washed ass."

"Drink water that washed ass frees you from the evil eye."

"Drink water from the washed ass and see that your wish will be realized."

"With the water washed ass any man / woman gets passionate."

Currently, like most children born in hospitals, lost track of this miraculous water. However, talking to older people and people away from the big cities, it is easy to prove that the belief in the power of the water remains fresh in his memory.

Biographical Summary - 2014

Eva Maria da Cunha Machado was born and raised in Guimarães. Completed the course in Elementary Education after having taught in several elementary schools. The pair's career has been developing studies in Children's Literature from the perspective of better equipping and updating scientific - pedagogical.

High Specialization Course at the University of Minho-Braga in Home Basic Education - Portuguese / Children's Literature

Fellow of the Socrates / Erasmus for Teacher Training in the area of School Libraries often at the University of Derby in England to complement graduate studies, conducted at the University of Minho in School Libraries program.

Master in Textual Analysis and Children's Literature at the University of Minho - Braga with the thesis "Contribution to an analysis of tales of Alexandre Parafita - Goddesses and Witches."

Contributor to the Journal's People Guimarães.

Head of School Library Elementary School in the municipality of Guimarães, 1998-2001.

Collaborator in the Martins Sarmento Society in activities under the Educational Service.

Invited as a speaker / trainer in various lectures / geared for children's literature principally on fairies, goddesses and witches, gender literacy, teaching methods and creative writing meetings.

Co-author of the book "The Magic of Children's Literature in the Literary World" with coordinating Armindo Mosque UTAD, published in 2012.

Author of "As bruxas e a água do cu lavado" published in 2014.