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She Serves the Lord': Feminine Power and Catholic Appropriation in the Early Spanish Philippines.

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Title:She Serves the Lord': Feminine Power and Catholic Appropriation in the Early Spanish Philippines.
Authors:Fluckiger, Steven J.
Contributors:History (department)
Date Issued:May 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:This study examines sixteenth and seventeenth century Catholic missionaries in the
Philippine Islands appropriating feminine power and social power wielded by indigenous
feminine figures to expand Catholic influence and authority. During initial contact, missionaries
encountered an island chain dominated by indigenous animism that was headed by the maganito,
the animist leaders who were typically female. To supplant this, they used indigenous women
and the bayog, maganitos who were assigned the male sex at birth but took on a feminine
persona, to act as a spiritual leader and appropriated their social and feminine power to build up
the Catholic church and to diminish the influence of animist traditions. The study looks at the
role these feminine figures, women and the bayog, played in the Christianization process and the
influence they had in their communities.
The powers these feminine figures wielded included their status as spiritual figures in
their societies, their ability to own and control wealth, their role as owners of slaves, their
leverage in marital and sexual relationships, and their influence as upper-class members of
society. Through these figures, missionaries converted many indigenous people and encouraged
them to remain loyal to the Catholic faith and the Church. While missionaries utilized these
feminine figures, these women and bayogs exhibited their own agency and power, playing an
essential role in the Christianization process in the Philippines.
Description:M.A. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.A. - History

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