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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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5. Masculine Heroes   

16. The Search For Identity

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Activities: Author Activities

Judith Ortiz Cofer - Selected Archive Items

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[2184] Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, The Great He-Goat (Witches Sabbath) (c. 1823),
courtesy of the Museo Nacional de Prado, Madrid.
Goya left several of his paintings unnamed. This painting is known variously as El Gran Cabrón (The Chief He-Goat), Witches Meeting (Imbert), Sabbath Scene (Sánchez Cantoacute;n), and Witches' Sabbath (Viñaza). A group of initiates gathers for a ritual led by the black figure in the left foreground.

[2230] Jan van de Velde, The Sorceress [engraving] (1626),
courtesy of The New York Public Library, Print Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.
Van de Velde was a seventeenth-century Dutch artist. Beginning with the introduction of tobacco to Europe in the 1500s, smoke began to appear in artwork to allegorize the five senses, most often taste, as well as the notion of fleeting time. This etching shows a shift both in perceptions of tobacco and in representations of evil. The scene was intended to expose the darker and more unnatural side of tobacco by placing tobacco pipes in the hands of goblins and feminine minions of the devil.

[2245] Alexandre-Marie Colin, The Three Witches from Macbeth (1827),
courtesy of Sandor Korein.
Shakespeare's influence on the popular American imagination has been profound. Paintings like this one resonate with the nineteenth-century interest in the occult and fear of what was seen by some as the supernatural power of women.

[6181] Peg Averill, When Women Become Massively Political the Revolution Will Have Moved to a New Level . . . (1976),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [CN POS 6-U.S., no. 39 (C size) <P&P>].
Poster of a woman in whose flowing hair is pictured a setting sun and silhouettes of soldiers. The women's movement was closely allied to the peace movement. The National Organization for Women's 1966 statement of purpose began as follows: "We, men and women who hereby constitute ourselves as the National Organization for Women, believe that the time has come for a new movement toward true equality for all women in America, and toward a fully equal partnership of the sexes, as part of the world-wide revolution of human rights now taking place within and beyond our national borders."

[8990] Greg Sarris, Interview: "Search for Identity" (2003),
courtesy of American Passages and Annenberg Media.
Greg Sarris, author, professor, and Pomo Indian, discusses the task of integrating diverse cultures and viewpoints.

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