Sunday, 11 February 2018

Jurramachos of Montanchez, unique to Montanchez carnival

The slightly sinister jurramachos parade around the streets of Montanchez during carnival time. Usually men dressed as women, not glamorous sexy women in Rio carnival tradition but old crones dressed in rags clasping a little basket and the essential element, wearing a white cloth mask crudely cut with eye and mouth holes, they speak in falsetto gibberish, it's a little unnerving. No one seems to know the origin of this tradition but it is unique to Montanchez, these jurramachos do not appear anywhere else in Spain. Perhaps it's an echo from the past when carnival was banned during the Franco dictatorship for fear of dissension and resistance boiling up with heightened spirits;  Montanchez continued with their own version of carnival despite the repression, perhaps protected by their more remote situation up in the heights of the sierra.
It was a lively scene in the main plaza tonight with all the bars open, colourful costumes and fire eaters on stilts, children running in between having fun and games.

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