MOORS AND CHRISTIANS, VALLDEMOSSA 1552-2019
When the Moorish controlled the Mediterranean, Mallorca was not different. For centuries, pirates sailed free along the sea, taking ships, taking towns, taking lives. King James the 1st of Aragon conquered Mallorca in 1229, and that was the beginning of a new era. Christianity re-estatblished, arabs where set far from our land. However, piracy continued for some centuries after that.
It was an regular day, that October 1st, 1552. Men had headed off to Palma for their weekly business, the rest stayed home. Aware of that disadvantage, a traitor from town, known as Pere el Valencia, led 400 turkish pirates through the village. They took their treasures, their women, they took the grace of Valldemossa. But they made a mistake, a fatal mistake. Thirty-six men had stayed. Thirty-six farmers, merchants, and laborers. Thirty-six fathers, brothers or sons who could not repeal the attack, nor rescue their daughters, sisters and moms. Not much they could do, but to seek hope in hands of another man who was safe at his fortified mansion, his name, Captain Ramon Gual.
“Brothers and friends, I know that my family could escape and are out of danger. But I feel pain and sorrow for you as I see they took your children, wives, and treasures. I am willing to fight, Valldemossins! Those willing to die by my side, follow me, I will lead!” _ Captain Ramon Gual
Captain Gual’s countrymen took shelter at his home, asking for help and advice. “We will fight them off”, Gual said. Astonished they look at each other because they were no warriors, and could take no life. Without hesitation the Captain ordered those men to kneel as they where sworn kights of arms one by one. There was no time. Still wearing their pijamas, those citizens, now soldiers followed their leader to the open field, outside the villa. A bloody battle bursted from the unbush prepared by Captain Gual and resulted on many casualties on the moorish side, many run and no christian life was lost, other than that of Pere el Valencia, who was hung by his new friends when considered he had changed his mind and Aina Creus, grandmother to Catalina Thomàs. Catalina, who who had lost her parents at early age and now her grandmother, joint a convent and became beatified in 1792 and canonized in 1930 and she is better know as “La Beateta”. You can see a representation of her life besides every house door, in a tile. But that is antoher story.
This Saturday 5th of October The Association of Moors and Christians of Valldemossa will bring the 5th anual reenactment of the 1552 pirate attack. The members of the Association elect the main characters. The man playing Gual’s part gets to pick up his thirty-six combatants, the rest of the town will volunteer to play either town women or turkish troops, but the rest of the cast is voted for. This year’s cast is the following.
Captain Ramon Gual …………… Salvador Cano
Turkish Pirate Leader………….. Paco Boscana
Aina Creus ………………………….. Margalida Calafat
Pere el Valencia ………………….. Toni Cantallops
Dean Pere Camps ………………..Marc Lladó
Some of the Christian combatants of Valldemossa are: Vicenç Colom, Juan Luis Muntaner, Andrés Mulet, Xisco Mulet, Biel Castell, Miguel Angel Català, Antonio Màs, Gaspar Màs, Antonio Martorell, Juan Calafat, Jaime Morey, Pedro Estradas, Mateu Estaràs, Miquel Boscana, Pedro Quetclas, Pep Llabrés, Pedro Estaras, Miguel Angel Màs Pedro Juan Juan, Lorenzo Lladó, Tomeu Rigo, Toni Cerdà and Javier Mulet.