Local rapper Chhoti Maa teamed up with fellow MC Madlines to start the music collective BrujaLyfe last year. Its first endeavor? A concert with a diverse lineup of female performers titled The Brujas
You Couldn’t Kill. The provocative title helped the event gain traction on social media, resonating with a wave of self-identifying witches who tap into pagan spiritual practices to reconnect with traditions that colonialism had previously stamped out. In recent years, the term bruja
, or witch, has become a potent vehicle of resistance for some Latinas and for women of other diasporas, as well. Chhoti Maa, who often rhymes in Spanish, invokes her Mexican roots in her work regularly. Outside of making music, she’s an activist and educator, and her lyrics frequently touch upon themes of resilience. She performs on February 6 at Venus Rising Collective’s showcase at The Legionnaire Saloon in Oakland.