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Padilha, Maria. Maria Padilha was a possibly mythical 19th century Brazilian woman, or a possibly mythical 16th century Spanish woman, or Maria Diaz de Padilla (1334-1361), the mistress of the King of Seville, who became known as an enchantress. The possibly mythical Padilha was a prostitute or courtesan. From the early part of the 20th century Padilha appeared in Brazilian ballads, street stories, newspaper serials, films, television shows, and telenovelas as one of the primary incarnations of Pomba Gira, a Femme Fatale spirit of the Afro-Brazilian religions.
The fictional Maria Padilha, while incarnating Pomba Gira, is variously courtesan, prostitute, alluring, dangerous, a seductress, and transgressive, and ruins men’s lives and avenges the wrongs done to women.
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