Salem’s first accused ‘witch’ was an enslaved West Indian woman. This opera tells her story

“Obeah Opera” is a theater production that was ten years in the making, focusing on Tituba, the first woman accused of witchcraft in the Salem Witch Trials. Although not much is known for sure about this enslaved woman, literature suggests that she may have been of African and/or Indigenous descent, traveled to the New England colonies from Barbados, and a practitioner of obeah (an Afro-Caribbean collection of spiritual healing and justice-making practices). This award-winning opera tells the story of the deadliest witch hunt in colonial North American history from the perspective of enslaved Afro-Caribbean women. Learn more about the production and its creation in this CBC writeup and on its website and learn more about the history of uncertainty on Tituba’s identity on the Smithsonian website.