Sorry, no definitions found. Check out and contribute to the discussion of this word!


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Accompanying the Kristos are hundreds of "flaggelants", or "penitentes" - hooded men who whip their own bloody backs with whips of bamboo and rope, as penance for sins.

    The Australian | News |

  • To the uninitiated foreigner the whole event's very strange, but stranger still, if you happen to be a Black African South American, one interviewed on España Directo a year back mentioned that when he first saw the "penitentes" coming toward him with their white robes and pointed hoods, he thought to himself that The Klan were coming to get him!


  • He thought about the sensitives, preparing for psychic war, and he thought about the penitentes, men in black hoods dragging heavy wooden crosses through the desert, a hundred years ago, or fifty years, and lashing themselves with sisal and hemp, all that Sister Edgarish stuff, and speaking fabricated words—the maunder of roaming holy men.


  • There were men who walked these deserts a hundred years ago, the penitentes, chanting and fasting, scourging themselves with hemp whips, or whips made from the braided fiber of the yucca plant, or cord whips, la cuerda, a small whip of tightly knotted wool.


  • Our story itself began long before, if we believe that all back story is also story, that the underside of the iceberg explains what we see above: all those wind-sculpted shapes that, looking for all the world like praying hands, came to be called, by fanciful meteorologists, nieves penitentes, or penitents sculpted of snow.

    Excerpt: Ursula, Under by Ingrid Hill

  • Carlos Fuentes repeatedly bridges historical record and historiography, as in differentiating between an Aztec figure as artifact and as perceived today as art, or as in observing that an outsider does not see in the procession of penitentes and images of Holy Mary at Holy Week in Seville what sevillanos do, or indeed as in explaining in some detail the Virgin and the Bull as commonplace imagery over time.

    'The Buried Mirror'

  • Ramon went to the _Morada_, the chapter house of the _penitentes_, alone and late at night, for all of the whippings and initiations of the order, except those of Holy Week, are carried on in the utmost secrecy.

    The Blood of the Conquerors

  • There are some _penitentes_ still in the valley and all _penitentes_ work together.

    The Blood of the Conquerors

  • Of course, he said nothing about the _penitentes_, but he made her understand that he was going forth to fight for both their fortunes.

    The Blood of the Conquerors

  • Here that strange sect, the _penitentes hermanos_, half savage and half mediaeval, still was strong and still recruited its strength every year with young men, who elsewhere were refusing to undergo its brutal tortures.

    The Blood of the Conquerors


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Aha! Thanks, skipvia--I knew this term was already here somewhere, and even remember the spelling discussion. But oddly, I couldn't find it. :-)

    August 18, 2008

  • Blades of snow is a bit of a viscious sheep for me.

    August 16, 2008

  • See also penetentes.

    August 16, 2008

  • A snow formation formed at high altitudes that takes the form of tall, thin blades of hardened snow or ice closely spaced, with the blades oriented towards the general direction of the sun.

    August 16, 2008