4/18/2012

The "Empalaos" in Valverde de la Vera

I acumulated a lot of pictures in the last weeks and I did not have time to post anything here, so now I have to do it step by step... During a day trip through the mountains of Gredos we stopped at Valverde de la Vera. Many years ago, I tried myself as a photographer taking pictures all over the iberic peninsula, but I never was satisfied with any photo of this ancient and sinister act of penitence taking place every year in the early morning of good friday: men dressing up as "empalaos" and walking the streets of the town at night... The men who are becoming “empalaos” normaly made a promise to the Christ of Vera Cruz, a venerated image in a small chapel outside the village. This tradition comes from an older substrate of celtic initiation rites, so the actual cientific consense; in our days, overlayered by the Christian tradition, the "empalao" will pray the Via Crucis on the streets of Valverde de la Vera, an enchanting medieval town on the southern slopes of the Sierra de Gredos in Extremadura. The dressing up of an “empalao” is a difficult and solemn procedure and has to be done with special care. Normally the closer family members are with the empalao during the moments before going out on his way through the cold morning air of Valverde. The first piece an "empalao" has to put on is a white pettycoat. The body and both arms are surrounded with heavy cords and a big, heavy wood mast is put in horizontal position, to form a cross with the man's body. The sinister outfit is completed with a thorn crown, clanking chains and two crossed swords at the back. The whole event is surrounded by mistery and anonymity. Nobody knows the names of the empalaos except their families and their closest friends and those who help them to get dressed. Silence reigns in the streets and everywhere while they are walking on their particular Via Crucis…





Kommentare:

  1. Te he conocido a través del periódico el Diagonal... a través del Reportaje "puerta de hierro"...

    He entrado en tu blog y he visto esta serie sobre "los empalaos" y he querido compartir contigo la que hice yo durante ese día... por eso que dicen que compartir es vivir...

    Creo que coincidimos descansando en aquel Bar del pueblo, tomando unos licores... si es así, un placer encontrarte por la red...

    Te dejo mi serie sobre los empalaos...

    http://losaviones.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/empalaos-valverde-de-la-vera-caceres/

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  2. Dieser Kommentar wurde vom Autor entfernt.

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