Friday, June 15, 2007

Moors vs. Christians, Part I

What happens when two friends who've both studied Arabic literature are in Andalucía in June? That's right, they find the nearest Moros y Cristianos festival, and drive clear across the Iberian Peninsula to go see it.

I've never been to a U.S. Civil War recreation, but these seem to be along those lines with none of the attention to historical accuracy.

Sam (who was in town last week) and I rented ourselves a Hyundai with a five-or-six horsepower engine and went on over to Mojácar, the warmest little town in the U.K. Seriously, there were so many Brits there, and a supermarket named Mr. U.K.

In Mojácar, we watched the first evening of the annual Moors and Christians festival, which is a celebration of when, in 1488, the Catholic Kings and the local rulers agreed that the town would have equal rights for all! (That is pretty much verbatim from the tourist office brochure. Read: that is when the city fell to the Reconquest, four years before the fall of Granada and the end of Al-Andalus.) In addition to some Christians, the groups at the M and C festival were the Moros Viejos, the Aljama Mudejar, and the Moriscos. Interesting, no?

Presumably, after the weekend of mock battles (indicated by copious blunderbuss shots--that's a new word for me; the Moros y Cristianos schedule was very fond of the word, using it at least once per event entry), the Christians win, and the different groups all go their merry ways, accompanied by their bands.

Also: we stayed at a campground that was overly well lit for my sleeping comfort, next to the camper van of a little retired French man named Bernard, who had worked in security at a nuclear plant, and who made us tea and set up a little card table and chairs for us.

Also: we went to the beach, and swam around a bit, and stared in shock/awe at how red some of the people (presumably Brits) at the beach were.


Blogger josiehen said...

Oooh...interesting! Where are the pictures?

4:44 PM  

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