La Accabadora – The Woman of Death
La Accabadora is a middle-aged woman dressed in black with a long shawl covering her head. Her job, as appointed by the community, was to apply euthanasia to the old and infirm using a cudgel (a short thick stick used as a weapon).
The family of the diseased, sick or infirm would request the services from the Accabadora; her services not rendering a dime, because to pay for death is considered a superstition.
There are several different styles which the Accabadora used to kill the diseased; suffocation, strangulation and the most widely used method is that of the cudgel. She would swing her cudgel to the forehead, or to the back of the neck with such force to cause immediate death.
There is only one Accabadora per generation and she is always a woman. The justification for La Accabadora is that only a woman can bring life into the world, so only a woman can take it away¹.
The practise of the Accabadora is thought to have continued in some Northern Sardinian communities until the late 1970’s.
** I have not heard any first hand details about the Accabadora. This post was written from information I gathered from the internet and from my keen interest in Sardinian myths, mysteries and folklore. Now that the Accabadora is on my mind, I will seek out some of my local friends to hear their versions of this dark tale.
Is La Accabadora a Sardinian myth? Or does the Accabadora truly exist?