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In Trujillo I met up with 3 descendants of muranos (crypto-Jews, so called because they could only practice their religion behind walls, "muros") from New Mexico, in Spain looking for their ancestral Sephardic roots. Clearly the driving force of this expedition was 60ish Regina; her husband, Lou, a WWII Navy vet and their son Victor (who spoke less Spanish than I) were along for the ride, I think. Lou was, by his own description a "Heinz 57", part Philipino, part Welsh, etc.
Regina: "First the Spanish told us we were Catholics, then someone told us we were Mexicans, then Americans. I grew up (in the US) thinking I was Mexican." Like many muranos, she didn't know she was one till she started reading about it and recognized family traditions. Once she started asking around, she found out that several other family members knew, but had never told her.
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First posted: August 1996
Last modified: April 5, 2002
All materials copyright © 1996, 2002 Joseph L. Mabel
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