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Local Women Explain Traditional Water Management

Together with the Mojácar Council and the university of Granada, local women explain the traditional Mojácar water management and the role of women managing the family’s water.

The Mojácar 2022 campaign, with the so-called “Mojácar Workshop”, at which the role of the woman in managing the family’s water is highlighted, their distinctive daily comings and goings between the fountain and the homes, doing the washing, and their typical dress, one of Mojácar’s symbols of identity for decades.
Women wearing traditional Mojácar dresses during the workshop

Mojácar Council and the MEMOLab Biocultural Archaeological Laboratory are organising a series of workshops related to the Mojácar la Vieja excavations aimed at complementing the investigations and the recovery of the history and customs of the locality through the ages.

A series of workshops have been planned in this 2022 campaign, that have started with the so-called “Mojaquera Workshop”, at which the role of the woman in managing the family’s water is highlighted, their distinctive daily comings and goings between the fountain and the homes, doing the washing, and their typical dress, one of Mojácar’s symbols of identity for decades.

Mojácar women of different ages, including children, were at the workshop explaining to the participants what the typical costume of the locality was made up of, how it was put together and its complexity when it comes to making it due to the number of garments it’s composed of.

The question arises about the origin of the custom of using the scarf, which in the past would cover “half an eye” and was a sign of modesty among females of the time, as was the colour used, which was different depending on whether they were single or married.

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Another of the peculiarities in the feminine attire, and an essential piece in the transfer of water, is the so-called “rodete” (round pad), which was placed on top of the head. It was essential so that the heavy pitchers, full of water, stayed balanced on top.

The image of a woman carrying pitchers of water on their head and others resting on their hip represents one of the most typical images of the locality and a Mojácar symbol of identity.

Another of the peculiarities in the water management concerns the washing of clothes and in their fountain. From its outlet from the spring through 13 spouts, the water was distributed through two parallel, but differentiated channels: one in which the laundry was done and another which flowed freely to its storage place.

Mojácar is one of the few places in which the women got into the water to do their washing. With their skirts rolled up, they put their legs in the channel in which the water flowed freely and the other was for doing the washing. The two channels were separated by a series of stones, today of marble, which served for rubbing the washing. Hence the laundry water, which had soap in it, was not mixed with the other.

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The workshop was directed by Noelia Aguado, a MEMOLab community archaeology specialist, who is also in charge of the esparto grass workshops, at which master esparto grass weavers teach the almost forgotten technique of making nearly all the items used at the time, both for the home and for agriculture, and the “Mojácar Stories” workshop, which aim to recover the memory concerning Mojácar la Vieja and what perception they had of this place.

The traditional ceramics workshop is maintained and a day of drawing and painting at which the participants can paint at the dig site itself and in Plaza Nueva to capture the image of this emblematic place which inspires them the most.

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Mojácar Extends the Period of the Christmas Illuminations

Mojácar’s attractive Christmas decorations thanks to being the winner of the Ferrero Rocher “Together we shine brighter” contest, added to the offers from traders and the hospitality sector, have made the municipality one of the must-sees this Christmas.

Every night Mojacar receives a large number of visitors, who come to enjoy the festive atmosphere that runs through the whole of the locality’s old town.

Given the raised expectations, Mojácar Council wants to let everyone who wants to gaze at these spectacular illuminations know that they will remain on, for the time being, and as a minimum, until the end of January, not ruling out the possibility of extending this period further and as already announced by the Mayor, Rosa María Cano.

With this decision, Mojácar Council wants to give thanks for the support fired up throughout the province in the campaign to become the competition winners and hence give the opportunity to all those who wish to enjoy the illuminations, without having to rush and without the need to stay within the limited calendar of the traditional dates of Christmas.

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This way Mojácar will shine brighter for longer and remain open for many more dates to be able to come to the municipality.

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Firefighters Donate Three Fire Engines to the Centre for the Hospitalised Children

The Levante Almeriense Firefighters’ Association has been to the paediatrics department to visit the hospitalised children and to make a donation of three fire engines for them to use during their hospital stay on these such important days.

These trucks are automatic and able to be steered by the parents of the hospitalised children or by the children themselves if they are a bit older. They also have a built-in Bluetooth music selection system, sirens, and are equipped with lights for emergencies.

The fire engines have been decorated by the firefighters themselves with all the emblems, shields and anagrams to make them replicas as similar as possible to the ones that they use. They have also devised a special system for fixing a hook so that there is the possibility of hanging IV bags or medications and they can be used by everyone without any hindrance.

They were received at the Huércal-Overa Inmaculada Hospital by the Health Delegate, Juan de la Cruz, the Inmaculada Hospital Manager, José Miguel Medina, and the paediatrics service Management Team and health personnel, who thanked them for their generosity towards the hospitalised children and their parents, an appointment they don’t fail to keep both at Christmas and throughout the year.

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For their part, the members of the Levante Almeriense Firefighters Consortium feel very pleased at having been able to repeat this visit that they never miss at Christmas, except those required due to lock down, and for having managed to bring happiness and smiles to the patients and their parents, making them forget the hospital routine, even if it is only for one morning; one of the aims that, for years, they have fulfilled at this time of year.

A touching gesture by the Levante Almeriense Firefighters team, which together with other initiatives, such as collaboration with different NGOs, sports events, etc., expresses their closeness to and their wish to be in contact with the public.

Added to the important work that the firefighters carry out in our society, they go a step further in their commitment to solidarity and assistance, with this type of initiative.

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The Traditional Festival of Nine Lessons is Celebrated in Mojácar

As has become a regular in Mojácar’s Christmas celebrations, the locality’s two most important religious communities came together for the Festival of Nine Lessons, a meeting of Catholic and Anglican faithful gathered around the reading of Genesis, in both languages, as well as an exchange of traditional Christmas carols from both cultures.

The celebration was officiated by the Mojácar Santa María Catholic Church Parish Priest, Victor Manuel Fernández, and the Costa de Almería Anglican minister, Alwyn Carter.

As is customary, the gathering was held in the Mojácar Santa María Parish Church, and was attended by Spanish and British faithful, Catholics and Anglicans, who jointly and emotionally celebrated this time of Advent, a prelude to the most important days of the year for the faithful of both communities.

The readings by the faithful begin with the Old Testament. By the hand of the prophet Isiah the birth of Jesus is announced and through the apostles Luke, Matthew and John, the impact of his birth on the world is related. The lessons, in Spanish and English, are interspersed with Christmas carols, also typical of both cultures.

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The Anglican tradition of holding the Nine Lessons Festival during Advent dates back to 1880, when the Archbishop of Canterbury designed the service for the eve of Christmas in Cornwall in the UK. It’s a service of nine short lessons from the Bible in which the story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah and the birth of Jesus is usually outlined.

The ceremony ended with the performance by the British and Spanish faithful of the well-known carol “Adeste fideles” (O Come, All Ye Faithful), sung in the original Latin.

Decorated for Christmas, the Santa María Parish Church, has an addition to its original charm as a place of meditation, highlighting the Parish Nativity scene, which is always set up by the Mojácar parishioners.

The Nativity, of great beauty, is the work of the Murcian creator Jesús Griñán from the locality Puente Tocinos, where there are the best Nativity scene makers in Murcia, and which has a grand modelling tradition.

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Although the central figures of the Nativity scene have been in the parish for a long time, new passages from the life of Jesus have been acquired over time from the same sculptor, so that today it is a display of great artistic and cultural value with movable figures that recreate the different trades of the time.

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