Jovita: the Warrior Maiden of the War of Paraguay

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Wimmer, Norma [UNESP]

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Univ Estadual Paulista, Fundacao Editora Unesp


Antonia Jovita Alves Feitosa - widely referred to simply as Jovita Alves Feitosa - was born on the border of Piaui and Pernambuco, on March 8th, 1848. In 2017, her name was included in the book of heroes, in Tancredo Neves Pantheon of Fatherland and Freedom, in Brasilia. There are various versions of the story regarding the circumstances of her participation as a volunteer soldier in the Brazilian troops that left for the South during the Triple Allies War against the Republic of Paraguay (1864-1870), as well as controversies surrounding her death. Her history was recounted by several writers; some of whom associate Jovita with the figure of Joan of Arc, while others make no reference to a possible mystic destiny. It is believed that Jovita learned about the land invasions and the events in Mato Grosso do Sul during the war's beginning through newspapers. The news made her decide to join Piaui's volunteer troops to avenge the Brazilian women who were attacked by the enemy. In order to accomplish her objective, she walked the long distance that separated her from Teresina, wearing men's clothes that hid her breasts, a cowboy hat, and short hair, which she cut using a knife. Even though Jovita was unmasked at a fair, she still left by ship for Rio de Janeiro as Second Sergeant. In every place that the ship stopped, the press praised her heroism. After her arrival in Rio de Janeiro, news about her became blurred and originated several investigations. this paper recounts the history of Voluntaria da Patria Jovita Alves Feitosa from the perspective of the warrior maiden using the framework of theories proposed by Eric Hobsbawm and Walnice Galvao.



History, Jovita Alves Feitosa, Warrior Maiden, Paraguay War, Woman

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Olho D Agua. Sao Paulo: Univ Estadual Paulista, Fundacao Editora Unesp, v. 11, n. 2, p. 194-200, 2019.