This article provides a new reading of the famous story about black sorceress Juana García that appears in Juan Rodríguez Freyle’s El Carnero. It shows how she manipulates basic elements of the colonial bureaucracy that control time and space to perform the trick that allows her adulterous client to get away with her infidelity. One key factor is the periodicity of the fleets connecting Spain to the New World, the so-called “Indies run,” in which the deceived husband travels. Another is Juana’s ability to fly that lets her overcome time and space restrictions, and is drawn from the myth of the flying African, which gave slaves the imaginary freedom to escape back to the motherland. With these details Rodríguez Freyle reveals the structure of the Archive from the inside, and how sex and money are at the foundation of that imperial construct.


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pp. 423-431
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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