Daily mythology II: Anita Garribaldi

I knew it: once you start writing about human beings you can’t stop again. Here’s the second one. Luckily born far away from me. “So far away from me, so far, I just can’t see…”. Anita was born Ana Maria de Jesus Ribeiro on a sunny day in the end of August 1821 into a poor family of Azorean Portuguese descent, herdsmen and fishermen in Laguna in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.


We don’t know who stood at her craddle, but her life would be very romantic! It did’nt seem to be like this though at first, because at the age of 14 she was forced to marry a man she probably didn’t love and who left her soon. But then! One day she took a walk on the seaside, and on a ship just coming from Europe, Giuseppe Garribaldi (by the way: one of my heros) saw her through the telescope and immediately fell in love with her. She indeed joined him and stayed his lifelong mate. A skilled horsewoman she taught him all about the gaucho-culture of the plains of southern Brazil, Uruguay, and northern Argentina.  After a fierce battle she was caught and told that Garribaldi was dead. Not believing them she searched the battlefiled for his dead body and, not finding him, escaped on horseback. Her pursuers shot her horse, she fell – she was pregnant then! -, but ran into a river, where she was left for dead. Then she fled further and finally managed to reunificate with Giuseppe. They fought together in South America and in Italy, they had children, they married. I saw the place were she died in the pineta near Ravenna. Garribaldi, though a womanizer, always kept her in his heart, and, on a parade for victory and the birth of Italy, he wore her scarf on top of his South-American poncho….


Think about that: Anita was born in Laguna, Brazil, her lifelong lover saw her near the sea, she nearly drowned in a river when she was pregnant and on the run after the battle of Curitibanos, and died near the lagoon of Comacchio, Ravenna. Water seemed important to her.


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