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María Josefa Mujía

Other names/titles:
Gender: F
Ethnic origin: White

Biographical details

She was born in Sucre on 26 November 1813, her parents were Don Miguel Mujía, a captain of the Spanish Navy; and Bolivian-born Doña Andrea Estrada, Bolivian. Her father died when she was 14. It is said that this caused her so much pain that her continuous crying caused irreversible damage to her eyes and she lost her sight. She took consolation in literary creation, writing verses at home. Her brother, Augusto, sent one, “La ciega” to a friend who published it in a local paper. This caused a great stir in Sucre. Other poets, impressed by her verses, dedicated compositions to her trying to console her in her affliction. She answered every one and thus obtained the celebrity status that she had feared so much. In 1853 she entered the national competition to write an epitaph of Bolívar (memorial) but her sonnet did not win. Her secretary, reader and confident brother died in 1854 and according to her biographer Don Gabriel René Moreno, she did not write for the next three years. In 1858 she had submitted 40 compositions of which no more than 5 were published. She produced many more before her death in 1888, but they have not been collected for publication. She died from a chest infection on 30 July 1888 aged 71. She was also deaf by then. (Correia Pacheco, 63-64).

With Ricardo José Bustamente, (Nestor?) Galindo and Manuel José Tovar she was one of the first generation of Bolivian romantics. Her poems are sad and tragic, with intense lyrics.
Her most notable composition is “La ciega”. It’s been widely published in national and foreign anthologies. Another is “El árbol de la esperanza”. Both are reproduced in Caillet-Bois, (400-401).

Life Events

Born 1813She was born in Sucre on 26 November 1813.
Other 1827She went blind around this time.
Died 1888She died on 30 July 1888.


Caillet Bois, Julio, (1959), Antologia de la poesía hispanoamericana

Correia Pacheco, Armando, (n.d.), Diccionario de la literatura latinoamericana. Bolivia,


There is no writing by this subject in the database.


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