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Page 2
Posing as a Muslim is popular
Text by: Paula Repo
Photos by: Pasi Rein
Spain Festivals top page :
Moors and Christians
top page
Moors and Christians page 2
Moors and Christians page 3
Moors and Christians page 4
Moors and Christians photo page

Besides watching the theatre of reconquest, people make themselves part of it. They hang the Muslim or Christian symbols, coats of arms and banners, outside their houses, wear traditional costumes and dramatize various scenes in the streets.

Playing the role of a Muslim is at least as popular as being a Christian. One reason is that the Moorish garments were more elaborate.

Thanks to henna, woad, madder and other coloring agents together with materials like cotton that were introduced by Moors their dresses were brighter and more sophisticated. But there are also more serious motives. Many people want to trace their ancestors back to the Moors.


Photo above - a young Muslim soldier is ready to attack his enemy

It is only natural that over the centuries the Moors - constituting Arabs, but mainly Berbers of North Africa - got mixed with the Christians through marriages. The first invaders brought no women with them. This way a large part of the second generation Moors were actually half Hispanic. Many Christians also converted to Muslims or adopted their customs while still maintaining their Christian rituals. Mozarabs, Renegades and Muladis were all Christians or former Christians who embraced Islam and often fought against their former compatriots.

Photo left - now the Moors have invaded the castle

Parades that take the streets late in the evening show these and many other characters in fantastic dresses surrounded by skillful constructions of castles, boats and other scenes of the reconquest.


Photo above - the night invites dancing in the streets

Fireworks, thundering guns and clattering swords are part of both the parades and plays. In many towns the dresses and other properties of the parades are inspired by the Muslim piracy, common in the coastland after the expulsion of Moors.


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This page last updated June 2007
Text copyright held by Paula Repo, photograph copyright by Pasi Rein .