Today I started early. I had four interviews in total. The first interview began at 11:30 am and lasted about 30 minutes. Mrs. Pimentel Mejía is an important entrepreneur in Baní and answered all of my questions. Her family has many customs that the conversos practiced during the Inquisition time period. I was surprised by her answer when I asked her about the "Law of Moses." She said that her parents taught her to respect the commandments and that they were important. Though the women did not light candles or lamps on Friday evenings, they did generally abstain from work and prepared the best foods and wore the best clothing. After the interview, she offered me to stay for lunch. I kindly declined, saying that I had another interview. Either way, she was kind enough to drive me to the next interview, which was about 3 km away. She kindly waited for the messenger to arrive and take me on a moped to his grandmother's house.

The next interview was of two sisters that shared the same mother--the Lara sisters. This particular family did not have a strong notion of forbidden marriages. However, they did demonstrate a high sense of superstitions that appear in the Inquisition records as Judaizing customs. 

Next, I interviewed Mrs. Herrera. I had to take a taxi there because she lived away from the center of town and I did not know how to get there. I spent about 10 minutes searching for change, since the taxi driver did not have it. We went to 2 corner stores, and the 2nd one gave him change after buying a drink. He kindly offered me a cup of Coca Cola. Finally, we had the change and arrived at the house. I sat down and explained to Mrs. Herrera who I was and what I was researching. She happens to be a retired educator and librarian. I was surprised at the scrutiny that her father had in selecting a marriage partner for his children. She explained that her father investigated the potential candidate's genealogy for about 30 minutes, then either said "yea" or "nay." She expressed a strong religious conviction towards the Church and said that her mother taught her to respect the religious authority. When asking her about the Holy Office/Inquisition, she knew exactly what I was talking about. She explained that it was a tribunal for "bad" people. She denied having Jewish ancestors in the family.

Finally, I met with another descendant of the Lara family. Mrs. Lara's maternal lineage is of the Chalas family that migrated from San José de Ocóa to Baní. She spoke in great detail for almost 1 hour. The strongest customs in her family were: selection of marriage partners, family purity during menstruation, childbirth customs, and the typical superstitions that conversos practiced and were caught doing. What caught my attention was that her mother would clean the pots and pans on the Wednesday of the "Easter Week." She also expressed that there were cousins married with each other in the family and that it was a normal thing. 

Thus far, I can infer that the descendants of converso families that founded Baní are keen in selecting marriage partners, slaughter their animals by slicing the neck, and protect their traditions through the power of taboo and superstition. 

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