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DOD1 035714S 1 



Alcali de la Sierra 



Introduction by 
Professor E. E. Evans-Pritchard 



Copyright^ iQ^fa by Criterion Books, Inc. 

Printed in Great Britain by William Clowes and Sons, Limited, London and Beccles 


in admiration and gratitude 




Foreword by Professor E. E. Evans-Pritchard ix 

Introduction xiii 

I El Pueblo, (i) The Boundaries of the Community i 

II El Pueblo, (ii) The Community and the World 14 

III Occupation and Wealth, (i) Agriculture 34 

IV Occupation and Wealth, (ii) Industry and Trade 48 
V Status and Age 65 

VI The Sexes, (i) Courting: the Values of the Male 84 

VII The Sexes, (ii) Marriage and the Family 98 

VIII The Sexes, (iii) The Values of the Female 1 12 

IX Political Structure 122 

X Friendship and Authority 137 

XI Law and Morality, (i) Nicknames and the Vito 160 

XII Law and Morality, (ii) Bandits and Gypsies 1 78 

XIII Law and Morality, (iii) The Supernatural 189 

XIV Conclusion 202 
Appendix: The Present and the Past 211 
Glossary 224 
Index 227 

List of Illustrations 

Alcala de la Sierra Frontispiece 

1. The lower fountain facing page 16 

2. The upper fountain 17 

3. Gathering Esparto grass 32 

4. The valley below the town 33 

5. The Day of the Bull x 12 

6. Corpus Ghristi procession 113 

7. A sabia reciting an oration 128 

8. An old gypsy 129 


I AM GRATEFUL to Dr. Julian Pitt-Rivers for asking me to 
write a foreword to this book for he is in every sense a son of 
Oxford and an Oxford anthropologist. His great-grand 
father, General L. F. Pitt-Rivers, and Sir Edward Tylor 
were the founders of anthropological studies in the Univer 
sity. The General's grandson and the Author's father. 
Captain G. H. L. F. Pitt-Rivers, at one time a Fellow- 
Commoner of Worcester College, wrote a book on the peoples 
of the Pacific which has long been recognised as an original 
and outstanding study of primitive societies. Dr. Julian Pitt- 
Rivers himself, also a Commoner of Worcester College, read 
history at Oxford before the last war. After operational 
service in the Royal Dragoons he was for a time tutor to the 
young King of Iraq. He then returned to Oxford to study 
anthropology. After taking the Diploma in Anthropology 
with distinction he devoted himself to the research in Anda 
lusia on which this book is based and for which he was 
awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

Social anthropologists have traditionally clone their re 
search, and still usually do it, among so-called primitive 
peoples ; and since the last war much research of the kind 
has been carried out in Africa, Melanesia, Indonesia, South 
America and elsewhere. Dr. Pitt-Rivers, however, was de 
termined to show that the methods and concepts which have 
been so successfully employed in studies of primitive societies 
could equally well be used in the study of the social life of 
our own civilisation. This decision demanded not only initi 
ative but also courage because such studies have hitherto 
generally been regarded as the preserve of the historian and 
the sociologist, and the claim by anthropologists that they 
have an original contribution to make to them from their 
side has been treated with some scepticism. This book should 
go a long way towards disarming criticism and gaining 
acceptance of our claim that anthropological studies can be 


made In any society, for it is a work of sound scholarship and 
is presented without the unnecessary and pretentious jargon 
that has sometimes marred studies of this kind. 

Dr. Pitt-Rivers makes it clear that this account of an An- 
dalusian pueblo is an anthropological account. It is not based 
primarily on documents, though these have been used, but 
on direct observation. The people he writes about are real 
people and not figures taken from the printed page or 
units in statistical tables. He lived for many months as a 
member of the community he describes and he speaks 
Spanish with quite remarkable ease and accuracy. His study 
is therefore an anthropological study, for what constitutes an 
anthropological study is not where or among what sort of 
people it is done but what is being studied and how it is being 
studied. What is being studied is a complicated set of inter 
personal relations and the method of study is to get to know 
well the persons involved and to see and hear what they do 
and say. 

This sort of study is therefore limited by the nature of the 
method employed to fairly small communities. But the prob 
lems investigated, though viewed only in relation to a small 
community, are fundamental problems of the larger society 
also, and the anthropologist can make a unique contribution 
to their solution precisely because he, and only he, studies 
them on a scale where they present themselves as problems 
of personal relationships. The abstractions of the poli 
tical and social sciences fiscal system, political structure, 
religious cult, legal codes, judicial institutions, educational 
system, health service, class distinctions and so forth are 
here set forth and studied as relations between persons 
and in terms of what these abstractions mean for them: the 
inspector, the mayor, the policeman, the priest, the lawyer, 
the school-master and the doctor, or perhaps we should 
rather say the individuals who occupy these positions in the 

I make no attempt to discuss the topics treated by Dr. 
Pitt-Rivers in his fascinating study of the pueblo of Alcald or 
the anthropological conclusions he reaches in it. The reader 
will find that he needs no guidance from me, for all is set 
forth with clarity. I have only to congratulate the Author on 


having accomplished successful research in what must have 
been very difficult circumstances and on having combined a 
most interesting account with an acute commentary in such 
a way that the description and the analysis are seen to be 
both essential to our understanding. 



THIS BOOK is about a Spanish town. More precisely, it 
examines the social structure of a rural community in the 
mountains of southern Spain. To demand the reader's 
attention for a whole volume in order to interpret to him the 
habitual goings-on in so insignificant a place might be asking 
too much of him, but that in order to do this it has been 
necessary or, might I say, through doing this it has been 
possible ? to say a good deal about the nature of Anda- 
lusian society, and even to sketch certain hypotheses of 
sociological theory. Yet this is not a discourse on the 
principles of social organisation. On the contrary, my con 
cern is to set forth facts and only such general formulations 
as are required in order to relate them one to another. For 
I believe that every description of social life carries in the 
method and terms it employs an implied theory of society, 
while on the other hand theories which aim to lay down the 
principles of sociology, however great their potential value, 
remain until an observer can make use of them in a particular 
instance something uncertain, unassessable as an unopened 
seam of gold which may not, when brought to the surface, 
repay the cost of mining it. 

Nevertheless, there is one point of theory to which I 
would like to draw attention before I begin, and that con 
cerns the meaning of the term Asocial structure", since this 
is used by some writers in quite another way. They use it to 
mean the composition of a society in terms of percentages 
of persons belonging to one or another category of age, sex, 
monetary income or status, and so on. This is not what a 
social anthropologist means by social structure. For him the 
word "structure" implies something composed of inter 
dependent parts, and the parts of a social structure are not 
individuals but activities or institutions. A society is not an 
agglomeration of persons but a system of social relations. 


How exactly such a system "works", what is the nature of 
the logic governing it, is a matter upon which much doubt 
rests. Is a social system a system in the same sense as a legal 
or an economic system, as systems of grammar or physiology, 
or the solar system? This question is one which I prefer to 
leave to philosophers to whom it properly belongs. But many 
excellent monographs have examined different institutions 
among different peoples and have shown how they determine 
and are determined by the other institutions of their society, 
how, in a word, their activities and beliefs are consistent 
with one another. So, in this book, I have attempted to 
define the values attaching in Alcald to possessions and 
status, to sex and the family, to political authority and 
the moral code of the community, to the supernatural 
and the natural and to show how they are related to 
one another and to the social structure of the whole 

It will be seen that these values are not uniform in the 
sense that they are not shared equally by all members of 
the community, as one is led to believe is the case in simpler 
societies, but rather they (and the social perception upon 
which they depend) vary according to the position of the 
individual within the structure. This variation which gives 
rise to strife in certain contexts, leads also to logical incon 
sistencies which yet are not sociologically inconsistent. They 
devolve, rather, from the necessity to reconcile conflicting 
social ties within the same community and within the same 
individuals. The modes in which this reconciliation takes 
place give to the structure of this society many of its 
characteristics. If this book makes any contribution to 
sociological theory it does so through tracing the conflict of 
ties to the divergent demands of the local community and the 
central government and suggesting that, while the resolu 
tion of the problem is peculiar to this place and time, 
the problem itself is one which exists in all centralised 

At a less general level this book aims to throw light upon 
the culture of Andalusia through defining its structural 
background. Such typical features as the popular bull 
fight and the bandit, the witch and the cult of the gypsy, are 


shown as components of this social system, as possessing their 
structural raison d'etre. 

In a final appendix it attempts to reinterpret the social 
history of the sierra of Andalusia and in particular the 
rise of the Anarchist Movement there in the nineteenth 

This book makes no claim, on the other hand, to con 
tribute anything to controversies regarding Spanish politics, 
and any attempt to put the facts contained in it to polemical 
use is likely to do violence to them. In examining the values 
of another society I have been at great pains to avoid, 
myself, making any " value judgements". 

Those whom I would like to thank are many. There is, 
first of all, the debt to be acknowledged in a first work to 
my teachers, Professor E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Professor 
Meyer Fortes and the late Dr. Franz Steiner. Secondly, 
to those who lent me the assistance of their advice when I 
first approached the problems of Spanish culture and history. 
Of them I would particularly like to mention Mr. Gerald 
Brenan, Mr. Raymond Carr of New College, Oxford, and 
Mr. Arthur Lehning, formerly of the Institute of Social 
History of Amsterdam. I am grateful to many other Spanish 
friends who patiently forgave my ignorance and endeavoured 
to help me towards an understanding of their culture. To 
the Hon. Mrs. Joan Rayner I am indebted for her photo 
graph which forms the frontispiece. 

Finally I take this opportunity to express my friendship 
and my admiration for the people of AJcald. Save for the 
natural beauty of the land they live in, fate has given them 
few material advantages. With less wealth they are more 
hospitable than more fortunate people. In the face of greater 
disadvantages they dress more finely upon feast days. The 
benefits of learning have not been showered upon them yet 
they are often masters of the spoken word. Their manners 
and their feelings possess a natural refinement. Convinced 
at first that I must be a spy (for what else would an English 
man be doing in Alcald?), they behaved nevertheless with 
the greatest kindness and courtesy. 

I have been anxious to avoid indiscretions which would 
repay most heinously the friendship which they gave me, and 


have taken such steps as are necessary in order to prevent 
implicating either directly or indirectly any living person. 
Thus, for example, while all the nicknames mentioned are 
authentic, I have not given them to the people to whom 
they belong. There are no individual personalities in this 


El Pueblo 
(i) The Boundaries of the Community 

LIKE MANY other Spanish place-names the name Alcala 
derives from an Arabic word. It means a fortress, and it is 
normally possible to discover in places which bear that name 
the remains of Moorish fortifications. There are four towns 
called Alcala in Lower Andalusia; Alcala de Guadaira, 
where the bread of Seville is baked : Alcala de los Gazules, 
on a knoll in the southern plain : Alcala del Valle lies in 
broken country east of Olvera: while in the mountains 
between Ronda and Jerez stands Alcala de la Sierra. 

The name as well as the masonry of the town testify to its 
Moorish history, but Alcala de la Sierra is older than the 
Moors who built upon the site of a Roman town named 
Lacidula. It appears to have come into prominence only 
during the later Moorish period when it was the stronghold 
of a Berber tribe. For some two hundred years it stood upon 
the frontier of the kingdom of Granada, and the Christians 
sacked it during the campaign which put an end to Moorish 
rule in Spain. Nor was that the termination of its troubles 
for nearly ninety years later, in 1571, it played a leading part 
in the rebellion of the Moriscos and was the scene of another 
year's embittered warfare during which it was burned down 
again. After this, the town was resettled and rebuilt by people 
from the plains to the west, and has remained ever since in a 
backwater of the national life, uncelebrated in Spain's his 
tory and unmarked upon its maps. 

Richard Ford, that indefatigable traveller, visited it a 
century ago and does not appear to have been seduced by 
it. "Plastered like a martlet-nest upon the rocky hill," he 
wrote, "it can only be approached by a narrow ledge. The 
inhabitants, smugglers and robbers, beat back a whole 

p.s. i 


division, of the French who compared it to a land Gibraltar. 
The wild women, as they wash their parti-coloured garments 
in the bubbling stream, eye the traveller as if a perquisite of 
their worthy mates." 

I cannot claim to have been aware of being regarded in 
that fashion, and I selected the town in the first place, among 
many other considerations, because I was invited into the 
casino, the club, and given a drink more promptly here than 
in any other place I had been. This was due, I think, not 
so much to the greater generosity of those of Alcald, certainly 
not to their greater wealth, but to the fact that, being more 
cut-off than other towns, my appearance there in winter 
was more of an "event" than elsewhere* This first encounter 
was for me the prelude to an attachment which lasts still. 

The mountains around Alcald look bare and very pre 
cipitous, but they are not devoid of vegetation. Between the 
rocks lie grassy hollows and glades of evergreen oaks whose 
abundant acorns are the best fodder for pigs and whose 
wood makes charcoal for the towns in the plain. Below the 
grey crags and wooded spurs stretch valleys of not very 
fertile soil. The hillsides are lined by watercourses which are 
torrents for a few weeks and, for the rest of the year, dry 
pebble-beds edged by the oleander and the iris. But the 
bowls of the valleys are scattered with springs whose waters 
zigzag down the slope, charted by poplar-trees, white farm 
houses and the geometric patterns of irrigation* These 
springs have never been known to dry up, for they are fed 
by underground reservoirs replenished each winter from the 
hollows in the high ground. 

The towns of the sierra are much smaller than those of 
the plains and appear on the map to be situated somewhat 
closer together. El Jaral is only eight miles from Alcald as 
the raven flies., but the road there is more like twenty miles 
long, for it descends into the valley, skirts round the foot of 
the mountain and then rises once more to El JaraL The valley 
across which both towns look out is known as the campifia, the 
plain* It is not called a plain because it is flat but because 
its agriculture resembles that of the flat country to the 
west, arable land divided in large properties with few trees. 
That is the reality which the peasant's eye sees. The tourist's 


eye sees a rampageous landscape of swelling hillsides and 
tilted escarpments brought at last to the sky-line by a flat- 
topped crest upon which are strewn the broken columns 
which once supported the temples of Accinipa. 

Not quite as far as El Jaral in the other direction lies 
Benalurin, where Napoleon's troops burned the church : and 
following the road round the mountain one comes to the 
town of San Martin, no farther from Alcala than Benalurin 
by donkey-track, but it must be a sturdy donkey to do the 
journey. San Martin, back to back with Alcala and separated 
from it by the mountain, faces Gddiz and the Atlantic eighty 
miles away. Beneath the mountain in a cleft lies Jacinas and 
beyond that the cork-covered and bandit-ridden foothills, 
and beyond these the corn lands of the Andalusian plain. 

These towns are much alike at first sight. The houses, 
whitewashed and red-tiled all, cluster together on knoll or 
mountain-flank overlooking their approaches. Jacinas is an 
exception for its siting is based upon the reversed principle. 
The rocks fold round it on three sides, and its lowness 
affords it as much protection as height does to the others. 
The only town whose situation is not strategic is Guadalmesi, 
but it has grown into being in the last thirty years. It is the 
only modern town in the area. 

Just outside each town, a matter of two or three hundred 
yards, are the cemetery in one direction and the calvario> 
the chapel, in the other. The cemetery is usually below the 
town, the calvario above. There are no detached houses. The 
built-up area begins and ends as abruptly as the Spanish 

Outside the towns there are not many habitations. In the 
plain the big farms are homes for no one, though the fore 
man lodges there with his family. Labourers are housed 
there while they are working, but they keep their families in 
the town. There are sometimes apartments for the owner 
where he may come with his family to spend a month during 
the summer. Yet areas of small-holders' farms are commonly 
found on irrigated land, or within one of the colonisation 
schemes founded within the last thirty years. 1 The straggling 

i "Interior colonisation", as it is called, is not confined to the last thirty 
years. In the village of Algar near Jerez a colonisation scheme was founded by a 


collection of mills and huertas, or irrigated gardens, is a 
feature peculiar to the sierra. 

The wealth of this area appears to have been declining 
for a long time. The liberation of the Americas from Spanish 
rule damaged the commercial supremacy of the port of 
Cddiz, and the loss of Cuba finally destroyed it. There are 
few modern manufactures in the area. The development of 
modern means of communication, of modern industry, the 
improved technique of agriculture in the plain and the 
phylloxera have each in one way and another contributed to 
a general decline in prosperity among the towns of the sierra. 
Jacinas with its flourishing leather-factories is an exception : 
but Alcald has been particularly hard hit by these develop 
ments, for it formerly exported wine and in addition it 
possessed a cloth industry which was the pride of the region. 
Its products were once advertised as far afield as South 
America. Ninety years ago the population was double what 
it is today. 

Some people might see in this economic decline an 
explanation of the intensity of social unrest which developed 
in the area during the latter years of the last century. The 
trial which made the secret terrorist society called the Black 
Hand famous in the eighties concerned people from this 
sierra, and local tradition has it that the Black Hand was 
active in Alcald itself. At the beginning of the Civil War in 
1936 these towns were not lacking in revolutionary ardour. 

But to return to Alcald today. The number of inhabitants 
living in the town is 2,045. The number of dwellings is 604* 
Considering the size of the average family five to seven 
children is normal and up to ten is not exceptional it 
appears that there are sufficient houses for the number of 
families. People complain of a housing shortage, but the 
relatively low rents (10 per cent of a day-labourer's monthly 
income is normal), and the fact that few houses are lived in 
by more than one family would indicate that it is not very 
acute. Moreover, the population is still falling. 

nobleman in the eighteenth century. An account of this, as well as of many 
other features of the area, is contained in Viqje dt Espafia, by Antonio Ponz 
(Madrid, 1787). See also Los riyesy la colonizctcidn interior de Espafta dtsde el siglo 
XVI d XIX, by G. Bernaldo de Quiros (Madrid, 1929). 


Houses vary in size. There are fine three-storeyed mansions 
in the centre of the town, built in the eighteenth century 
by the wealthy clothiers. But no house has any pretensions to 
nobility, and where arms are found over the door they are 
those of one of the religious orders which, before the church 
was dispossessed, owned property here. The seigniorial 
lordship of Alcala belonged to the Dukes of Arcos together 
with that of three neighbouring towns, but there is no 
evidence that they ever kept up a residence in any of them. 

More modest houses have two storeys whose top floor 
may be no more than an attic, while the upper town is com 
posed mainly of single-storeyed dwellings where the greater 
number of poor families live. Almost all have a yard at the 
back, including perhaps a stall for an animal, an open 
veranda where the cooking is done and a trellised vine. The 
only modern buildings are a cloth-factory and a gaudy villa 
put up by a retired lawyer at the entrance to the town. 
In spite of its incongruity it is much admired. 

The hillside which folds round Alcala is scarred by what 
were once streets which housed the greater population of a 
former epoch. The buildings are of uncut stone, granite 
boulders collected from the slopes, plastered both inside and 
outside and whitewashed. From the houses which have fallen 
into disuse the doors and roofs and windows have been 
removed much material was taken by the builders of 
Guadalmesi and the jagged walls, washed bare, have 
become almost indistinguishable from the rocks behind them. 
The ruins now serve as pens for animals. The buildings which 
have been abandoned in this way lie on the outskirts so that 
the town appears to have shrunk in upon its kernel, leaving 
streets of goat- and hog-pens between the inhabited dwellings 
and the hill. 

In this way it has retained the compact appearance 
typical of the Andalusian town. Nor is it strange that this 
should be so, for, quite apart from the fact that the outlying 
streets were inferior, more precipitous and the houses 
rougher, the life of the community centres upon the fountain, 
the church, the town hall and the shaded square where 
people walk in the evening. The distance of a house from 
these is something of a measure of its desirability. In 


addition, people do not like to live in isolation but prefer the 
crowded atmosphere of the street. The climate is warm for 
half the year and much time is spent out of doors. The old 
women sit in their doorways by day. The young people do 
their courting there in the evening. The streets of Alcala 
may be said, in fact, to be the social centre of a community 
which stretches for eight kilometres around. This is called 
the tirmino of AlcakL 

This territory is the rural area of the township, and a 
further 1,740 people live within its bounds. Of these about 
half live in a village called Penaloja, which stands beyond 
the mountain at the far end of the tfrmino. The remainder 
may truly be regarded as country-dwellers, people living 
upon isolated farms or in the mills or cottages in the valley 
below the town. 

One of the facts which an examination of the statistics 
reveals is that the relation of houses to number of inhabitants 
is very much lower in the town than in the country. In 
Alcald it is i : 3*4, while in the country it is i : 5. This is 
because the families who live in the country almost all own 
houses in the town* These remain vacant for the greater part 
of the year, being used only to store grain which must be 
concealed from the visting inspector, and to house the family 
when they go to stay in the town. Nor is this an innovation 
which the black market in agricultural produce has made 
possible and also necessary possible through the increased 
wealth of the small-holder and necessary on account of the 
inspector's visits, though this explanation would seem reason 
able at first sight. On the contrary, it is an ancient tradition 
that every family possess its house inside the town, and this 
tradition is common to the greater part of Spain whose 
empty countrysides bear witness to it. 1 

This desire to live in compact communities for so we 
must for the moment consider it is one of the prime con 
ditions of the social structure of central and southern Spain, 
and corresponds to that strong sentiment of local patriotism 
which has been observed by many writers upon Spain, 

* The parts of the country where the agricultural population lives entirely 
in central communities rather than in farms upon the land corresponds very 
roughly to the distinction between "dry" and "wet** Spain, 


and which is a recurrent theme in Spanish literature. 
Geographically, Alcald is something of an exception with 
25 per cent of its souls living in the country. In its sentiments, 
however, it is no exception. 

This identity of place and community is clearly revealed 
in the language. The word for "town", which might equally 
be translated as " village" since it covers any community of 
from a few hundred to thirty thousand inhabitants, is 
el pueblo. 1 And this word means, not only in the dictionary 
but also in everyday parlance, both the place and also the 
people who belong to that place. This conception of the 
pueblo as a human community expressed in a geographical 
idiom was well illustrated to me when people explained; 
"Peiialoja is a street of Alcald." This in spite of the fact that 
ten kilometres and a mountain pass separate the two places. 
Moreover, the language reinforces this identity by a converse 
example. The word poblacitin, meaning population, is most 
commonly heard in the sense of a populated place, a city, 
town or hamlet. 

Membership of the pueblo is acquired primarily by birth. 
Those born within the town remain "sons of the pueblo" 
until their dying day, no matter where they go to live. They 
will remain "sons of the pueblo" not only for legal purposes, 
as in the parish register; "Hijo de Alcald, empadronado en 
X ..." ("Son of Alcald, numbered among the neighbours of 
X ..."), but also in people's minds, for it is likely that they 
, will never bear any nickname other than that derived from 
the place of their origin; "El Alcalareno" or "El de 
Alcald", This does not follow if a man goes to such a dis 
tance that the name of his town is unknown, or to a big city 
where nicknames have not quite the same significance. A 
man from another province may be known by his province, 
or if from farther away still, by his region. Thus a man of 
Alcald is; "Alcalareno", "Gaditano^ ("of the province of 
Cddiz"), "Andaluz" ("Andalusian"). I was known in 
Alcald as "el Ingl6s". 

i I use the word "town" rather than ** village" because although it is the 
residential unit of agricultural workers, 'it also has shops, a market and a 
municipal administration. Moreover, I do not wish to use both words and make 
a distinction where the language of the people themselves makes nonet 


Legal membership of the municipal commuity, vecindad y 
neighbourship, is acquired by the act of empadronamiento, 
inscription in the parish register as a neighbour of the 
pueblo. This is performed automatically after two years' 
continuous residence or after six months should it be 
solicited. Public functionaries, on the other hand, receive the 
legal status of neighbour upon taking up their post. This 
status entitles a man to vote in municipal elections, to hold 
municipal office and to participate in the privileges of the 
community such as common pastures and agricultural and 
social benefits. The quality of neighbour has greater effects 
in the sphere of law than the place of birth, yet the moral 
quality derived from the latter enters into the definition of the 
personality for legal purposes in a term which reveals its 
mystical importance. The word naturale&z, nature, means, 
when applied to a person, simply his place of birth. 

The inhabitants of a pueblo are frequently designated by 
a collective nickname. 1 Those of Alcald are called "the 
Lard-eaters", a reference to their fame for raising and 
fattening pigs* Those of Benalurfn are the "Bumpkins 5 '. In 
this instance the people of Penaloja are differentiated from 
those of Alcald by a separate nickname. 

In addition, each pueblo is distinguished by the posses 
sion of a patron saint who stands in a particular relationship 
to the community. The pueblo is under the protection of its 
patron to whom, in many cases, it was formally dedicated 
at its foundation. The name of the town sometimes derives 
from this fact. Thus, Villaluenga del Rosario, Puerto Santa 
Maria, San Pedro de Alcdntara, San Martin. The festival 
of the patron is always a holiday of importance and in many 
cases it is combined with the/m"#, the lay festival and market. 
Though devotion is not accorded uniquely to the patron 
of the pueblo, there tend to be strong feelings regarding him 
and not only on the part of persons of religious zeal. In this 
regard Alcald is distinguished once again from Pefialoja by 
separate patrons. 

The sentiment of attachment to the pueblo is counter- 

i There is an article by Gabriel Maria Vergara Martin in the Boletin de la 
Real Sodedad Geografica, Vol. XV, 1918, which gives a collection of such nick 
names from different parts of Spain, 


balanced, as might be expected, by a corresponding hostility 
towards neighbouring pueblos. Thus, for the Alcalarefio, 
those of Jacinas are boastful and false, those of Montejaque 
cloddish and violent, those of Benalurin are mean, those of 
El Jaral drunken and always drawing their knives. There 
appears to be little objective basis for such accusations, but 
such as exists is worth noting. Jacinas is a rich town with 
twice the number of inhabitants now as Alcala. It threatens 
on account of its greater wealth to oust Alcald from its place 
as judicial centre of the region. There is far more animosity 
in Alcald towards Jacinas than towards any other town. 
Montejaque is an entirely pastoral community, and shep 
herds' manners are held to be uncouth by agricultural 
people. Benalurin is a poor pueblo which cannot afford to 
pay high prices. While El Jaral is where the wine-growing 
country begins. 1 

This hostility finds expression in various customs. It is 
usual for the boys of a pueblo to object to the visits of 
forasteros a word which I shall translate as " outsiders", 
since it means a person born elsewhere for the purpose of 
courting one of their girls. In some places they follow the 
practice of ducking the visitor in the fountain when he first 
comes, but allowing him to come freely thereafter. In 
others, however, they ambush him and beat him up when 
ever they are able to catch him there. Two Alcalarenos have 
had to break off their engagements on account of the rough 
treatment which they received in their fiancee's town. Such 
a custom applies only to the town itself. A girl who lives on a 
farm within the tirmino of another pueblo may be courted 
with safety. 

Each pueblo possesses a collection of ballads recording 
local history, and of sayings and rhymes in which the praises 
of the pueblo are sung and derogatory observations are made 

l Casual conversation does not always reveal the animosity between pueblos, 
for the educated tend to laugh at it, while the informant may feel the solidarity 
of the area in face of a foreigner and give an account in which each pueblo seems 
more marvellous than the last. When travelling, one day, up the valley of the 
Rio Genal with a local man, I was amazed at the praises which he bestowed on 
each pueblo in turn. Coming finally to the most miserable of them all, I asked 
whether this was not a rotten place. "This one?" he replied, "No, indeed, a 
fine pueblo. A very rich pueblo. It has many acorns." 


of its neighbours. So, a common expression of denigration is 
to say of someone that he is : 

"Mas bruto que el alcalde del Gastor," 
" Rougher than the mayor of El Gastor." 


"Como la gente de Jerez que mientras no tocan no yen." 
"Like the people of Jerez who can't see without touching/ 5 

A rhyme inspired by the same spirit can usually be found 
for any pueblo, and I give one which is known in Alcald : 

"En el pueblo de Zahara "In the pueblo of Zahara 
Hay dos cosas regulares There are two things 

which aren't up to 

Una p'arriba y una p'abajo One in the upper town 

and one in the lower 
Y en medio los mula'res." And in between are the 


In the folklore of its neighbours Alcald is represented in a 
similar light, but within the pueblo its name is heard only 
in the most complimentary contexts. A ballad recounts how 
a visiting official was outwitted and put to shame by the 
noble people of that place, and a more ancient saying tells 
that after the Resurrection the Saviour stopped off on his 
way to Heaven at the calvario of AlcalA, a signal honour which 
has afforded the inhabitants special protection ever since 
from the damage wrought by thunderstorms. In a rhyme 
the excellence of Alcald is contrasted with the wretchedness 
of its neighbours : 

" El Jaral corral de cabras " El Jaral is a pen for she-goats 
Guadalmesf de cabritos Guadalmesi for kids 
Benalurin de cabrones Benalurfn is for he-goats 1 
Y Alcald de sefioritos." And Alcali for gentlemen/' 

The most proud saying of all comes from the town of 
Jimena, which challenges the rest of the world in terms of 
piteous contempt : 

"Ay ! que pena "What a shame ! 

No ser de Jimena ! " Not to be from Jimena ! n 

* The reader unacquainted with the symbolism of the Mediterranean 
countries is referred to the word cabrfa in the glossary. 


But, typically, the neighbouring pueblos have found a line 
to add : 

CC Y arrastrarse el culo en la arena." 

ce And drag your arse along in the sand. 35 

for the people of Jimena enjoy a local reputation for being 
short in the leg. 

The festival of the patron saint is the day upon which the 
hostilities between pueblos are traditionally expressed. Upon 
El JaraPs Saint's Day the young men are supposed to fight 
with those of Villa Faderique, and it is told that upon the 
day of St. Martin, in the village of that name, the young men 
would hurl rocks down the hillside upon those of Jacinas 
coming to attend the occasion. Another story recounts how 
the latter attempted to make away with the image of St. 
Martin during an open-air ceremony, and how, foiled in their 
design, they later stole the bull from San Martin's bull 
fight (an affair in which the animal is hauled through the 
streets by a rope attached to its horns) and dragged it half 
way to Jacinas, when the boys of San Martin, rather than 
submit to such an affront, slew it with a dagger upon the 
border of their territory. A bull's head painted upon a rock 
commemorates the event. This kind of thing is common 
throughout the greater part of Spain. The traditional fight 
ing between two towns near Seville, Mairena and El Viso, 
is well known, though today it takes place only between the 
school-children of the two towns. At the fiesta of Haro in the 
Rioja, not many years ago, the bull-ring was festooned with 
an announcement reading: "A hearty welcome is extended 
to all outsiders with the exception of those from Logrono." 

Pueblos are commonly linked in pairs, each one, sup 
posedly, hating its rival above all others. Thus, El Jaral 
Villa Faderique, Montejaque Benaojan, Ubrique Graza- 
lema, even, on a far greater scale, Cddiz and Jerez. Today, 
with the rise of Jacinas, its rivalry with San Martin appears 
to have diminished, for the latter is poor now and econom 
ically dependent upon its more powerful neighbour, but at 
the same time its rise has accentuated the tension with 
declining Alcald. 

Yet in none of these cases does fighting take place today. 


Though there Is likely to be indiscriminate fighting upon 
Saint's Days because more wine is drunk then, it cannot be 
said to be anything but casual. So, it is permissible to wonder 
whether these enmities are anything more than a piece of 
folklore which people enjoy repeating, whether the fights 
ever took place in fact or whether, as has been suggested in 
the case of the ritual murder of the Shilluk kings, the myth 
was not always sufficient. There are reasons to believe, how 
ever, that these stories, though sometimes much exaggerated, 
are in essence true and that recent times have brought a 
weakening of the spirit of local chauvinism. 

The body of custom, the folklore which was studied under 
the influence of Machado who founded the review El Folk- 
tore Andaluz in 1890, is generally similar throughout Anda 
lusia. In speech there is a recognised Andalusian accent 
which is thought to be funny by the rest of Spain (indeed it 
is as much a necessity for the stage comedian as is a Yorkshire 
accent in the English music-hall). The methods and imple 
ments employed in agriculture vary little save in accordance 
with the demands of the terrain. The pattern of land-tenure 
varies, but the same customary law, the same forms of 
exploitation and co-operation are found. In spite of the con 
tinual attribution of this or that characteristic to the people of 
one province or another, there seems to be little variation in 
the values underlying social behaviour throughout Andalusia. 

Yet, if the spirit of custom is the same, there is a prolifera 
tion in the detail which distinguishes one town from another. 
There are differences of speech, both of accent and vocabu 
lary from one pueblo to another, Benaocaz pronounces the 
"11" as in Castile and not as a soft "j" like the surrounding 
pueblos. There are distinctive intonations in the speech of 
Zahara, Villa Faderique, Montejaque and Benalurfn which 
make it possible, it is thought, to tell where a man is From as 
soon as he opens his mouth. Between AlcalA and Jacinas 
there is little difference in intonation, but there is a difference 
in vocabulary and in the use of language. Differences are 
particularly noticeable in the customary slang and in 
obscene language. Women swear more and more shame 
lessly in Jacinas than anywhere else, so the Alcalarefios say. 


Courting is done in much the same way everywhere; but 
in one town the young couples talk through the window, in 
another they stand in the doorway. The modes of cele 
brating religious festivals vary from place to place. The 
essentially dramatic interpretation of religion in Andalusia 
clothes itself in individual customs in each pueblo. Moors 
and Christians, Romans and Jews, dancing acolytes and 
dancing devils lend picturesqueness to the local fiesta, 
giving a distinct character to that of each pueblo. And these 
distinctions are found not only in the feasts of the patron 
saints but in most of the important days of the calendar, and 
not only in the processions but in the pueblo's activities for 
the whole day. 

Differences in material culture stress the same point. Men 
carry their lunch in one town in a bag of woven palm-leaf, 
in another in a basket, in a third in a cotton bag. In Alcald 
mattresses are filled with wool, even in the houses of the 
poorest. In Guadalmesi, where people are less poor, many 
are filled with straw. Certain pueblos have established 
excellence in a particular craft. These observations are far 
from complete, nor are they significant to the study of social 
structure, in their detail. What is significant is that they 
should exist, for they are the ways whereby membership of 
the community is defined. They maintain the basic premiss 
of the Andalusian peasant's political thought, which is the 
moral unity of the pueblo. Thus, it is sincerely believed that 
the women of Benaocaz have stronger characters than their 
menfolk and than the women of other pueblos. 1 And even 
where the veracity of such an assertion might be questioned, 
the legitimacy of this method of generalisation is not. 

i "En Benaocaz la hembra na* ma' 

Y en Villaluenga ni el macho ni la hembra 
Y en Grazalema huye que te quema'" 

"In Benaocaz only the women (i.e. are worth anything) 
And in Villaluenga neither the men nor the women 
And in Grazalema flee lest they burn you." 

This is the statement of a sociological truth, but the first line is founded upon 
an historical legend. It is said that when the Catholic Monarchs visited the 
town of Benaocaz only the women came out to greet them. There are several 
variations of this legend. (Cf. Pedro Perez Clotet, La serrania de Ronda en la 
literatura, an address to the Ateneo de Cadiz, 1940.) 


El Pueblo 
(ii) The Community and the World 

IF THE cultural reality has been given before the facts of 
political organisation, it is only in order to stress the more 
permanent of these two interrelated aspects of the com 
munity. Each in the long run acts upon the other ; but since 
this is the study of a community and not of the political 
structure of the country, it seems proper to begin by defining 
the community as it exists upon the ground and in the minds 
of its members, before examining the laws which regulate its 
government. The same law applies, in Murcia or Galicia, to 
pueblos whose social structure is very different. 

When Granada was conquered by the Christians it was 
annexed to the Kingdom of Castile, which was still separate 
from the Kingdom of Aragon, the two being united only by 
the marriage bond of their sovereigns. Since that date the 
work of centralisation stretches down not without periods 
of regression 1 to the present day. The local rights which 
derived either from an autochthonous tradition or from 
charters accorded to townships during the Middle Ages have 
today virtually disappeared, except for certain regional 
diversities in matters of private law* The country is governed 
from Madrid. Yet the regions cling firmly to their cultural 
traditions. Within them, the provinces show only slight 
variations, but they, not the regions, are the political seg 
ments of the structure of the state, It is also the regions not 
the provinces which are divided by natural barriers and by 
historical tradition. The provincial system was only Intro- 

1 Notably through the sale by the Crown of seigniorial rights in the seven 
teenth century, Garcia Oviedo (DtrechQ Administratiw* 1951, p. 315) sees a 
tendency against centralisation from 1877 to 1935. This is discussed later, 
p. 319. 


duced during the latter half of the eighteenth century, and 
the present division was established in 1834. Thus, while the 
country as a whole is both a cultural and political unit, the 
region is today chiefly a cultural unit and the province 
chiefly a political one. How membership of these groups 
defines a person has already been discussed. What this 
membership means to the individual varies according to his 
social status and must be discussed elsewhere. For the 
moment we are concerned only with the lowest level of 
political segmentation, the pueblo. 

All the municipalities of the province come directly under 
the orders and administration of its civil governor. The 
province is divided, however, into partidospartido judicial is 
the full term for certain purposes, the chief of which is the 
organisation of justice. The advisory council of the governor, 
the diputaci6n provincial, is made up of one mayor from each 
partido elected by the others from among their number. The 
Church also uses this unit in its administration, though the 
dioceses do not always correspond to provincial territories. 
The Civil Guard is also organised by partidos. 

The syndicates, the government labour organisations, are 
controlled directly from the provincial office which is 
situated, normally, in the capital. A single syndical head 
quarters in the pueblo under the secretary of the syndicates 
administers the affairs of all those of Alcald. 

At the level of the pueblo power centres in the hands of 
the mayor, just as at provincial level it centres in the hands 
of the governor. The mayor is responsible to the governor 
and to no one else. All the other official bodies require the 
co-operation of the Town Hall in one way or another, and 
they are to a greater or lesser extent subject to the mayor's 

How these various organisations function in detail must 
be left till later. Let it be underlined here that, excluding 
Penaloja whose mayor is a delegate of the mayor of Alcald 
and whose presence within the tirmino appears in view of its 
geographical position something of an anomaly, they all 
centre in the town. Nor would it be practical for them to 
operate in any other way, given the geographical and ideo 
logical formation of the peublo. Power is therefore vested in 


a very few hands, those of the governing body of the pueblo, 
the persons of influence: the officials and the resident 
wealthy. The officials are mostly outsiders, appointed to 
their office by the state (though they may be paid by the 
Town Hall), and are only temporarily part of the com 
munity of the pueblo. Neither the mayor, nor the priest, 
nor the judge, nor the secretary of the Town Hall, nor the 
Secretary of Justice, nor the Chief of Posts, nor three of the 
five schoolmasters, nor the doctor, the vet nor the chemist, 
nor the state tax-collector, are sons of the pueblo. Nor the 
head of the municipal guards, nor any of the civil guards, 
(It is a firm principle with the latter that no man is ever 
posted to his own pueblo.) While of the large landowners, 
the majority though sons of the pueblo live now in Malaga 
or Jerez, sixty-odd miles away, and come to Alcald only for 
the summer months. The sentiment of solidarity with the 
pueblo is a thing felt far less strongly by these people, for 
whether sons of the pueblo or not, their ambitions and 
interests, both social and material, revolve within far wider 
horizons. "This place is dead", "Nothing ever happens 
here", they complain. Except perhaps for the elderly women, 
very few of them would not move to a larger town if they 
had the chance. (During the past forty years several wealthy 
families have sold their lands and moved elsewhere.) These 
people all lead lives whose interests focus to a large extent 
upon objects outside the pueblo. 

But the lives of the working-people are contained within 
narrower horizons. The ttmino of their town defines the 
extent of their relations with organised institutions. For a 
man's health, there is the town's doctor; for his animals its 
vet ; if he requires to borrow money, there is its branch of the 
Monte de Piedad, the agricultural bank; for the rites of 
birth, marriage and death, there is its priest, 1 If he wishes to 
prosper, he must be on reasonably good terms with the 
authorities, for while they work together they are too power 
ful to be defied. On the other hand, the man who is well 
thought of by them need fear no outside interference. When 
a man is arrested on suspicion in a strange place, the first 

i The distinction between civil and religious rites, introduced under the 
Republic, has been abolished. 

i . The lower fountain 

- ' ' ' ' 

. ;* *if* . ' 


thing done by the Civil Guard is to communicate with the 
commander of the section in the man's pueblo. His subse 
quent treatment will depend largely upon the character 
which he is given. l Travel, other than on foot, is expensive 
and to do so other than for business reasons is a luxury which 
few can afford. From ten to twenty men go down every 
year to the plain to work in the harvest, and others go from 
time to time on various pretexts, but their families and their 
interests remain in Alcald. A special pass is required to leave 
Andalusia to work elsewhere. Some have never been to 
Jacinas, and some have never seen Ronda. To have seen the 
sea other than from the top of a mountain is to have travelled, 
and though many have been as far as Africa or the Pyren- 
nees in military service, this experience is something apart, 
like a relative in America, which gives knowledge of another 
world but does not affect everyday life in the community. 

The concentration of political powers at village level 
appears so natural in Andalusia that, though it provided a 
basis upon which the system of caciquismo 2 rested, the doctrine 
of Anarchism, the movement which attacked that system, 
never questioned it. The concept of the pueblo as the unique 
political unit was so deeply embedded in the outlook of the 
peasants that it became a corner-stone in Anarchist policy. 
The Anarchists sought, in fact, not to break this political 
monopoly, but rather to become empowered with it and to 
eliminate the governing class which represented external 
influences. An example of their activity may be drawn from 
the neighbourhood of Alcala. A successful rising in the town 
of El Gastor at the end of the last century was followed by a 
declaration of the Republic of El Gastor. Its men marched 
over to Alcald and invited the inhabitants to follow their 
example and declare a republic also, entering into a defensive 
alliance with them. They had been in secret touch with 
people in AlcalA and elsewhere and hoped to secure their 

1 The traditional attention which the law pays to the "good name" of a 
person is to be found in the dispositions relating to Buena conducta. See Emilio 
Galatayud Sanjuan, Encyclopedia Manual Juridico-Administrativo (1933), 

P- 323- 

2 A system of " political bosses" which obtained during the period between 
the second Carlist war and the first dictatorship. Gf. G. Brenan, The Spanish 
Labyrinth (1942), who gives an extensive bibliography of the subject. 

P.S. 2 


position through a series of these alliances. According to 
some accounts they marched over to conquer Alcald, While 
the matter was still under discussion, the forces of the Civil 
Guard rallied and sent a column upon the scene, whereupon 
the Republic of El Gastor vanished into thin air, 

The insistence upon municipal independence in the policy 
of the movement was tempered, as time went on, by practical 
contingencies which required a certain measure of centra 
lised organisation. Yet this was an adaptation to the neces 
sity for co-ordinated action rather than a change of heart. 
The same spirit reigned and was to be discerned in the events 
of the Civil War. The rise to power of the Anarchists in the 
towns of the sierra in June 1936 was followed by the establish 
ment of " communism" : Money was abolished and a central 
exchange bureau was set up in the pueblo which collected all 
produce and redistributed it in accordance with a system of 
rationing. Thus, though clearly the situation demanded 
extraordinary measures and this example cannot be treated 
as conclusive, the assumption of power by the Anarchists 
rendered the pueblo not only, theoretically, an exclusive 
political group but exclusive economically as well. There are 
some indications that this conception of the pueblo in the 
minds of small-town Anarchists created tension between the 
regional leadership and the local community. The Anarch 
ist leaders from the large towns attempted, in the interests of 
organisation, to interfere with what the small-town An 
archists regarded as the autonomous rights of the pueblo 
which they themselves embodied, and in that they were 
often resisted. 1 The very word pueblo cloaked the disagree* 
ment. For, in addition to the two meanings which have 
been given above, the word has a third meaning: "people" 
in the sense ofpltbs as opposed to the rich, and although the 
people of Alcald recognise this meaning, it is for them 
synonymous with the other meanings, for the rich do not 
really belong to the pueblo but to that wider world which has 
already been delimited as theirs. In this sense the pueblo is a 
potentially revolutionary force which at any time may rise 

* Gf. Gamcl Woolsey, Death's Other kingdom (1939) for an account of a right- 
wing person defended by the Anarchists of his village from those of Malaga on 
the grounds of being "un hijo del pueblo" ("a son of the village")* 


to see that justice is done as in the rebellion of Fuenteove- 
juna, 1 or as in a story told of Jacinas, when the priest 
apparently omitted to observe the same courtesies in the 
burial of a poor person as he had in the case of a wealthy 
widow. The pueblo demanded the same treatment for both. 
"Sin6 se levanta el pueblo", 2 said the story-teller. A final 
example is provided in the words of one of the leaders of the 
Anarchists in Alcald, a man named "Argolla". When the 
forces of the Right had taken Alcald they wished to avenge 
the victims of the Left with a public execution, and this man 
was given public trial. When he was charged with the murder 
of those who had been shot there he replied that it was not 
he who had condemned them but "el pueblo". He would 
make no other answer to the charge. 

The main market for the products of the area is found in 
the large towns of Ronda, Jerez, Cadiz, Seville and Algeciras. 
And it is from them that manufactured articles reach Alcald. 
It is by these centres of trade, rather than by the neighbour 
ing pueblos of the sierra, that the economy of Alcala is 
complemented today. Entrepreneurs from them establish 
trading centres in the town to buy up such commodities as 
game, eggs or esparto grass. The visiting copers buy the cattle 
and wool. Contractors come with lorries to buy the charcoal, 
or the merchants of Ronda come with donkey-trains to 
fetch it. The couriers of Alcald bear produce as far as Jerez 
on their donkeys, returning with such purchases as they are 
charged with. 

Yet there is a considerable volume of trade between the 
towns of the locality. First of all, in controlled agricultural 
produce. For the foodstuff-control organisation does not, 

1 The pueblo of Fuenteovejuna in the province of Gorddba, angered by the 
tyrannical behaviour of the comendador, rose one night in 1476 and murdered 
him. When the judges came to inquire who was responsible for his death they 
could get no answer but "Fuenteovejuna". Gf. Diaz del Moral, Historia de las 
agitaciones campesinas Andaluzas (Madrid, 1929). Lope de Vega wrote his play 
Fuenteovejuna upon this incident. 

2 "Otherwise the pueblo would have risen." Diaz del Moral (op. cit. 9 p. 24) 
describes the popular revolt: "La muchedumbre se hace pueblo" ("The 
multitude becomes a pueblo"), and refers to the seventeenth-century expres 
sion: "La gente se levantaba en forma de pueblo'* ("The people rose in the 
form of a pueblo"), 


in fact, get its hands on more than 50 per cent of the crop. 
This is easy to understand. The officials who are responsible 
in the town for countersigning the returns of the farmers are 
farmers themselves. Less than what is sown is declared, and 
upon the declared area only about half the harvest is 
admitted. It is always an inexplicably bad year. In addition, 
the farmer is permitted to retain the grain to sow the follow 
ing year and a certain amount for his subsistence in lieu 
of rations. Since the price paid by the government for the 
grain collected bears no relation to the real price, a farmer 
who made an honest declaration every year would soon be 
bankrupt. The official grain is taken away by the inspector, 
and other grain, inferior, so people say, is sent to the town to 
provide the inadequate bread-ration. This is milled by the 
officially authorised mill, an electrical one, situated in Alcald. 
The crop which remains undeclared follows a different and 
less unnatural course from producer to consumer. It is ground 
illicitly in mills which are officially closed, and eventually it 
furnishes the unrationed bread which is sold openly through 
out the country. There are a great many mills working 
unofficially in the area, powered by the waters of the sierra, 
Alcali has some fourteen of them, some of them converted 
from old cloth-factories and fulling-mills. 1 The grain which 
they grind comes mostly from the plain of Guadalmesf . It 
is borne by donkeys which make the journey singly or in 
pairs, sometimes at night, for fear of the inspector. There are 
also two olive-mills in the valley, both of them authorised, 
though how much of the oil produced is declared to the 
inspector can only be a matter of conjecture* The miller 
smiles and changes the conversation when he is asked how 
much he mills. 

One can see then that agricultural produce flows in two 
parallel channels : the official and the illicit. But the latter 
is so essential, so much more extensive and so generally 
accepted, that it dwarfs the former and makes it appear not 
so much as an attempt to keep down the cost of living of the 

i Six of these mills were matriculated already at the time the law making 
them illegal was introduced, and they are paid compensation for being denied 
the right to mill (at the rate of 7,000 pesetas per annum). In fact they mill just 
as much as those who are paid no compensation for not milling* All of them 
pay the municipal tax upon industry* 


poorer people, 1 but rather as the central government's 
method of levying tribute in favour of a parasitical hierachy, 
the food-controllers. Be this as it may, the inspectors enjoy 
a wide reputation for corruption, and popular feeling is high 
against them ; the consumers on account of the inadequacy 
and irregularity of the rations, the producers since they 
would prefer to sell the whole crop at the unofficial price, 
and both together because it is thought to be an immoral 
organisation which meddles in the affairs of the town and 
imposes unjust fines. 

Apart from illicit trading between pueblos there is a 
certain body of local trade, though less than formerly. A 
cork-factory in Benalurin supplies itself from the area. The 
cloth-factory in Alcala buys most of its wool locally. There 
is a chair-factory in Penaloja whose products are common 
throughout the area. There is also a certain trade in the 
produce of the irrigated gardens, for crops ripen earlier in 
Jacinas, while some pueblos have no irrigation. Farmers 
sometimes send a son with a donkey-load to get the better 
price in a neighbouring town. The high towns specialise in 
hams which cure better at their altitude. On the other hand, 
many local industries have succumbed to the economic 
changes of modern times. The cloth production of Alcala 
has been much reduced. The leather industry of Jacinas uses 
imported leather today since local skins are less well cured. 
Mill-stones are no longer quarried locally but are imported 
from Barcelona or from France. The blacksmiths of the 
pueblo no longer make agricultural implements. In many 
items local craftsmanship has given way to the manu 
factured product. These changes have meant not only a 
change in the directions of economic co-operation but also a 
contribution to the general impoverishment of the area, 
which, being country unsuitable for modern agricultural 
techniques, has benefited little from their improvements. 
The money which leaves the community in this way does 
not return in exchange for increased production. 

1 There are three rationing scales whereby the well-to-do receive fewer 
rations than the poor. It is argued that they can afford to buy upon the black 
market. This argument involves a logical contradiction between the aims of the 
control order and the aims of rationing, but its equity cannot be denied. 


The degree to which towns are economically independent 
of one another can be inferred from a comparison of price- 
levels which vary from place to place according to supply 
and demand, and to the success with which traders manage 
to corner an article in short supply, Manufactured articles 
are always more expensive in Alcald than in Ronda, and, 
except when local crops come on the market, agricultural 
produce also. The cost of transport, due partly to the nature 
of the country and partly to the bad conditions of the roads 
and the shortage of motor vehicles, is responsible for this. 
Motor transport is not used for local trade, and animal 
transport is costly: for, apart from other considerations, 
the quantities seldom justify the use of a two-ton lorry, 
which is the smallest transport vehicle employed in the area. 
What, in fact, has happened is that while great advances 
have taken place during the last century in long-range 
communication, local communications remain much as they 
were one hundred years ago, In a sense they have deterio 
rated, for the scarcity of beasts following upon the war has 
made them more expensive, and their upkeep is relatively 
more expensive also. In addition, though roads have been 
built, they take longer and less direct courses than the tracks 
which, not being built for motor vehicles, use steeper 
gradients. And since the roads exist, the upkeep of the tracks 
has been allowed to fall off. 

Another factor is the lack of economic uniformity at 
national or provincial level, which means that there are 
stable and general prices only for things like newspapers, 
patent medicines, etc., while the fiscal liberty which the 
Town Hall possesses favours local variations. Variations in 
local taxation are sometimes considerable, and accentuate 
the local variations in price level. 

Wages also vary a great deal from one town to another. 
During the harvest they reach, in Jacinas and in the plain of 
Guadalmesf , the figure of double the agricultural wage in 
Alcald. They are always appreciably higher in the plain of 
Jerez. Theoretically, a minimum wage is laid down for the 
whole province, but it is the custom for employment to be 
given with meals ("con la comida"). A worker can only 
claim the wage-rate if he is employed without meals ("a 


seco"). The difference between what he is paid and the 
the wage-rate is technically a subtraction for his food. It is 
recognised that the labour involved in cultivation of the lands 
of Alcala and the poor return which they yield does not 
permit payment of the same wages as in the plain. Yet, in 
spite of this, men are unwilling to go there if they can find 
a job in their own town. "It is all very well making a lot of 
money/' they say, " but away from home it costs twice as 
much to live, and you have no friends there so anyone may 
take advantage of you." A labourer who is an outsider 
appears to be at a disadvantage because he does not belong 
to the community. The majority of those who go away to 
work do so in answer to the summons of a friend already 
established as a permanent employee upon a farm which 
requires additional labour. Moreover, at certain times in 
the past, the provincial governor has issued an order for 
bidding men to seek work outside their own pueblo. l The 
Civil Guard were then entrusted with the enforcement of this 
order, sending home those who arrived from outside. 

For the most part, the economic relations of Alcala lie 
towards the north and east, not towards the other towns of 
its partido. The main road passes to the north of Alcala. The 
railway station lies to the east on the Ronda-Algeciras line. 
Fish comes almost daily to the pueblo by one or other of 
these routes ; a man with a donkey meets the fish lorry from 
Cddiz on the main road. It is also sometimes brought from 
the railway station* Grain for the mills comes from the north 
east, and it is in that direction that the transhuman flocks 
go after the harvest. The wine drunk in Alcald, other than a 
small quantity vinted in the town, comes from the same 

The main shopping and business centre is Ronda. The 
motor-bus runs in the morning from Jacinas to Ronda via 
Alcald and returns by the same route in the evening. This 
means that while it is possible to go by that means for the 
day to Ronda, to go to Jacinas involves spending two nights 
there as well. Though one kilometre nearer by road, the 
journey to Jacinas is more arduous to animals on account of 

i This was originally the Ley de los tfrminos muncipaUs.of 1933. Similar legis 
lation has been brought in at various times since the war. 


the mountain pass. Also, Ronda is five times the size of 
Jacinas, and a place of much greater importance. 

An examination of the parish register gives some indication 
of the range of human contacts. 1 Those born in other pueblos 
number 13*4 per cent of the population. This includes both 
families which have moved into Alcald, single persons who 
have married into the town, and children born to Alca- 
larenian parents while away. In addition, it represents a 
time-span of the last seventy years or so. The total number of 
persons born elsewhere is 433. Of these, 300 were born within 
a radius of fifty kilometres. If we break up these 300, we find 
that 226 come from the north-east side of the mountains and 
only 74 from the south-west. Graded according to the towns 
from which they come, the four highest figures are : Monte- 
jaque, 60; El Gastor, 50; El Jaral, 41; and Ronda, 35. 
Fifth in order comes Jacinas with 22, the highest figure from 
the south-west and from thzpartido of Alcali. 

To sum up, then, Alcald is tied to the other pueblos of its 
sierra by a common material culture, by the exchanges of 
goods and services between similar economies, by a certain 
tradition of being mountain people who consider themselves 
tougher and more moral than the people of the plain because, 
perhaps, they are poorer, and by membership of an adminis 
trative unit, the partido judicial. It is linked to the north and 
east by a very different set of ties, by complementary 
economies and by human contacts including kinship. The 
difference in the nature of these two sets of ties might be 
summed up as ties based upon similarity, and ties based upon 
reciprocity, or one might also call them corporate ties and 
diffuse ties. 2 At the present stage, rather than seek a pair of 
"portmanteau" concepts into which to fit the various but 

1 The hamlet of Peflaloja is torn between its administrative dependence upon 
Alcate and its economic dependence upon the nearer and better communicated 
Jacinas. It is therefore excluded from the statistical data here considered. 

2 It might be possible to say, using DurkheinVs terms, that Alcald possessed 
"mechanical solidarity" with the mountain pueblos and "organic solidarity'* 
with the towns of the plain. However, as will be seen, neither set of ties con 
stitutes solidarity in itself. Where I use the word solidarity I shall use it to mean 
the identification of members of a group through a common allegiance in a 
specific social situation, and their differentiation thereby from non-members. I do 
not wish to imply any necessary attachment between members of a group. It is 
a sociological, not a psychological term. Groups, not individuals, possess it. 


by no means complete observations which have been made, 
it is more useful to make one further observation, namely, 
that these ties are exercised in the main through two different 
elements of the society of Alcald. A further examination of 
the parish register brings this point to light. 

Of persons living in the town itself 117 per cent were born 
elsewhere, while of those living upon farms within the terri 
tory of Alcald the percentage is 17-1 per cent. Yet the former 
includes the families of all the officials who are outsiders, and 
of the landowners who live in the large towns where their 
children are born these days. Together these two classes 
make up about one-third of the outsiders resident within 
the town. The following table shows the exact percentages 
of outsiders (a) among the inhabitants of the town, and 
(6) among the inhabitants of the country. 

Place of Total From under From over 

residence 50 km. 50 km. 

(a] The town: 11-7% 6 *9% 4-8% 

(b) The country: 17-1% 14-6% 2-5% 

The great majority of the officials and of the children of 
the landowners were born more than fifty kilometres away, 
and if, therefore, these be excluded, then the figures are 
even more emphatic; there is double the percentage of out 
siders among the mills and farms than in the town. So that 
it appears that the path towards assimilation into the com 
munity lies through the peripheral countryside. The reasons 
for this are many. To begin with, those who live outside the 
pueblo live correspondingly nearer to another town with 
which trade and human contacts are easier in consequence. 
In the second place, they are largely persons of a certain 
substance tenant and owner-farmer, miller, charcoal 
burner, and so on men of independence who work for 
themselves 'and do not depend upon a daily wage. They 
travel about in pursuit of their business, and their contacts 
are more extended as a result. Millers are seen to change 
their place of residence more frequently than any other class, 
and many of them, if not born outside, have passed part of 
their liyes working in a mill in another valley. In addition, 
their position today on the margin of legality alienates them 


from the official administration which centres in the town. 
Owner-farmers are sometimes outsiders and so are tenant- 
farmers, brought in by landowners who may have interests 
in other pueblos and who in at least one case prefer to employ 
an outsider. 1 The outsider, who comes seeking work, goes 
round the farms asking for a job rather than ask for it in the 
town. Or he may come at the invitation of the farmer. He 
lives upon the farm and returns home once the work is 
finished. If he remains therefore as permanent employee, he 
is likely to do so as a country-dweller, 

No doubt other reasons could be found to account for the 
higher percentage of outsiders in the country than in the 
town. For example, the importance of marriage in bringing 
an outsider into the community and this will be discussed 
later. It is enough for the moment to point out that the same 
classes which are more free in their movements are those who 
are most likely to marry a girl from another pueblo. 

It may appear surprising that in a place which has a high 
birth-rate and a declining population there should be so 
many outsiders. The number of sons of the pueblo living 
elsewhere is certainly far greater, though it is not possible to 
know exact numbers* Prior to the Civil War, some went to 
America. Many went to Jerez during the last century. Today 
they go in all directions wherever it is possible to make a 
living. Most of all have gone to the Campo de Gibraltar in 
recent years, where the end of international hostilities has 
brought a boom in its traditional industry, contraband. 

The Civil War has carried away many men and some 
whole families, creating gaps which outsiders have filled, 
dispersing people throughout the country. But for this, the 
problem could be seen far more clearly. 

Yet how do people behave towards outsiders? The 
stranger, as in Ancient Greece where he was protected by 
Zeus, enjoys a special status. It is a duty to assist him, for 
the reputation of the pueblo is felt to be at stake in his eyes. 
The visitor of wealth or standing is treated with great 

* In somewhat the same way certain of the officials prefer to get 
domestic servants from another village. "It is better," they say "if < 


, one's 

servant-girl does not have a family in the village* The household money goes 


courtesy and hospitality. He is probably invited to a glass 
of wine in the casino 9 the club. People inquire what brings 
him and put themselves at his disposal. 

This standard of hospitality is a very noble feature of the 
Spanish people, yet its analysis would not be complete if one 
were not to point out that it is also a means whereby the 
community defends itself against outside interference. For a 
guest is a person who, while he must be entertained and 
cherished, is dependent upon the goodwill of his hosts. He 
has no rights and he can make no demands. On the other 
hand, the good name of the pueblo is his protection. For the 
sake of that, the members of the community prevent one 
another from taking advantage of him. 

The vagrant labourer who comes in search of work is in 
rather a different position to people who come for business 
or pleasure. For one thing he is potentially taking the bread 
out of the mouths of the sons of the pueblo. He is also a 
potential black-leg who will work for less than that which is 
being paid there. 1 In addition, those who purport to come 
seeking work may be in reality shameless vagabonds, ready to 
steal or commit any felony. For a man who wishes to escape 
criticism in his own pueblo must go elsewhere, where the 
sanction of public opinion is less effective over him. A man's 
behaviour is not necessarily the same once he has left home. 
Among those who go away to seek a living, some are pre 
pared to beg who would be ashamed to do so in their own 
village. Stories circulate in the valley telling how this or that 
beggar from outside is really a prosperous person in his own 
village, to whom no one would dream of giving alms. Men 
who rob the crops, seldom do so within the termino of their 
own pueblo. To work as a prostitute is something which a 
girl must go away for. To do so where she had a family 
would be regarded as very shocking, quite apart from what 
they might have power to do in order to prevent her. The 
power of public opinion is very great. It is expressed in one 
word el quedirdn the " what- will- they-say". It is recognised 
that people are virtuous for fear of what will be said "por 

i The labour from the poor villages of the mountains was used to break 
strikes in the plain of Jerez at an earlier period. Vide V. Blasco Ibanez, La 
Bodega (Valencia, 1905). 


miedo del quedirdn". 1 Those arrested for stealing in the 
tlrmino of Alcald are almost invariably from El Jaral, Villa 
Faderique, or El Gastor. In this way the low opinion of the 
character of neighbouring pueblos is reinforced. Not that 
stealing by residents of the valley is unknown, quite the con 
trary. Yet, when it happens, the case seldom comes before the 
law. Private action is preferred, for to call in the Civil Guard 
against a neighbour would be considered very "ugly". At 
the same time, there is a far greater inducement to beg or rob 
when away from home, in that other means of maintaining 
oneself are no longer available. 

When men come seeking work they are treated at first, if 
they are unknown, with a coldness which contrasts with the 
reception afforded to the affluent. 2 People are chary of 
giving work to a man whose reputation they do not know, 
for he may take advantage of the fact that his good name 
matters less to him away from his own pueblo. The first 
question asked of any outsider is: Where is he from? Yet if 
a man has a friend there then he is alright, his friend is 
responsible for him, and if someone can give him a good 
name, then he may find work. The importance of friendship 
and acquaintanceship is very great. One often hears men 
boast: "Here everybody knows me" or "I am known in 
every town from here to wherever-it-is. 5) A good name is a 
literally valuable asset. 

Discussion of friendship as an institution must be put off 
till later. The Andalusians are well known for the fineness 
of their manners and the volatile quality of their sympathies. 
Lovers of the new, they are quick to enter upon terms of 
friendliness with a fresh acquaintance and people who settle 
in a pueblo do not take long to be absorbed into its life. With 
in a couple of years they will have developed relationships of 
reciprocal trust, and enter into co-operative ventures such 
as share-cropping with the people of the pueblo. The senti* 

1 Much of the murder and church-burning during the Civil War appears 
to have been committed by outsiders for, perhaps, the same reason. Cf. G. 
Brenan, The Spanish Labyrinth^ footnote on p. 189. 

2 The two contrary forms of behaviour contain a common factor : distrust, 
Whether he is entertained or treated ofF-handedly, in either case he is obliged 
to keep his moral distance. The fact that he does not belong to the community 
gives him a particular standing. 


ment of hostility towards those of other pueblos and the 
reality of co-operation appear to exist comfortably side by 
side. How is this compromise effected? 

The hostility towards an enemy depends upon his remaining 
in the enemy camp, and one who leaves his native town to 
settle in another escapes most of the distrust which is attached 
to it by those among whom he goes to live. At the same time, 
there is a tendency, among those who regard themselves as 
educated persons, to consider such sentiments old-fashioned 
and brutish. Nevertheless, the prejudice persists for many 
people in Alcald, and though it may be hidden in the daily 
give-and-take of living, it is always liable to be brought out. 
When I was moving into a farm-house in the valley where 
the tenants were people from Jacinas who had come to 
Alcala fourteen years earlier, I was warned by several 
persons on no account to trust them, on the grounds of their 
origin. One man, in particular, an intelligent craftsman, 
added great feeling to his warning, saying: ce My father was 
a man of the world and of great wisdom, and he used to tell 
me, 'Never trust a man from Jacinas, for not one has yet 
been born who was not a twister ! 3 " 

In fact, however, most of those who gave their warnings 
against the family in question had additional grounds for 
distrusting them : present jealousy or a past quarrel. For 
every person possesses a number of different guises under 
which he may conduct social relations, and which one he 
appears in is largely determined by the present circum 
stances. He is not only an outsider, he is also a member of 
many other categories of age, status or occupation. Conse 
quently the suspicious origin of a person is recalled only 
when the context warrants it, when, that is to say, he has 
given offence or some past offence of his is remembered. 
Then his antecedents are brought up as an explanation: 
"What do you expect from him, he is from Jacinas?" 
Until that moment the fact of his birth-place was overlooked. 
The personal tension becomes transfused into a structural 

The sociologist may detect here a principle with which he 
is familiar in other contexts, whereby the tensions of the 
internal structure are projected outside the group where they 


serve, as an exterior threat, to strengthen the group's 
solidarity. 1 It is always the people of the next-door town who 
are the cause of the trouble, who come stealing the crops, 
whose wives are unfaithful, who swear more foully, are more 
often drunk, more addicted to vice and who do one down in 
business. In all things they serve as a scapegoat or as a 

Yet this very principle implies a degree of proximity and 
co-operation. If we are to blame the people of the next 
village, then they must have some share in our enterprises. 
If their shortcomings are to provide a compensation for our 
own, we must be concerned in their affairs. It has been 
suggested earlier that the hostility between pueblos is 
weaker today than formerly. It is now possible to put for 
ward a reason for this. The pueblos of the sierra are no 
longer as closely co-operative. The focus of their social 
relations has shifted. 

To sum up, then, the pueblo is a highly centralised com 
munity, both structurally and also emotionally. In Spanish 
political jurisprudence it is the " natural" unit of society 
compared with which the state is an artificial structure. 2 
In many aspects it resembles other rural communities of the 
Mediterranean. All are composed of agricultural workers 
living under urban conditions, with a background of dry- 
farming and olive cultivation. All possess a strong sense of 
local patriotism; devotion to the patria chica m Spain; in 
Italy campanilismo, attachment to the local campanile, the 
highest building in the village. A conception of community 
based upon locality runs through the cultural idiom of 
Southern Europe, which is demonstrated in many ways: 
for example, in their legal codes the preference for the 
principle of jus soli> in contrast to the Germanic jus $anguini$; 
in the institution of local patron saints, in everyday con 
versation the importance attached to their place of birth. 

In fact, the Greek word polis far more nearly translates 
"pueblo" than any English word, for the community is not 

1 Witchcraft and sorcery in primitive societies may often be interpreted in 
this light. 

2 Article i of the Ley de Regimm Local puts the point succinctly: **E1 Estado 
Espaftol se halla integrado por las Entidates naturales que constituyen los 
Municipios, agrupados temtorialmcnte en Provincias/* 


merely a geographical or political unit, but the unit of 
society in every context. The pueblo furnishes a complete 
ness of human relations which makes it the prime concept of 
all social thought. That is why Argolla uses the word 
"pueblo" in a way which recalls Sophocles. During the 
Reconquest pueblos were founded, with special municipal 
charters, for the express purpose of defence against the 
Moors. And in the archives of later pueblos the vestiges of a 
concept of purpose may be detected. Upon the foundation 
of the town hall of La Carolina in 1835, the municipality 
solemnly pledged the pueblo to defend, among other more 
temporal things, the "misterio de la Purisima Concepcion". 

This moral unity of the pueblo is achieved through a 
lively and highly articulate public opinion. People live very 
close to one another under conditions which make privacy 
difficult. Every event is regarded as common property and 
is commented upon endlessly. Where good manners demand 
frankness it is perhaps natural to find that individuals are 
well skilled in intrigue. Here the subtlety of intrigue is only 
matched by the wealth of imagination expended in unravel 
ling it. People's observation is sharp, and they are quick to 
satirise each otheH^hind their backs. The least eccentricity 
is rewarded by a nickname which will be used universally 
throughout the town. 1 Yet a man's nickname is particular 
to the pueblo. If he moves to another place it will find its own 
nickname for him. Another pueblo will see him in a different 

The public opinion of the pueblo is not only exclusive to 
other pueblos. It possesses a unity derived from physicial and 
moral proximity, common knowledge and the acceptance of 
common values. That is to say, the sanction of public criti 
cism is exercised, not, as in the open society, by a number of 
separate groups which largely ignore one another, but by a 
single group, the pueblo. It is this which gives to public 
opinion its strength, its sense of the completeness of human 
relations. It is this which, as in a primitive tribe, makes 
custom king. 

Looking, now, at the pattern of relations between pueblos, 
what surprises one is not the tension which exists between 

i See Chapter VI. 


them, but the lack of techniques for co-operation. No 
organised institution appears in this role which overlays the 
frontiers of the teminos. No principle of exogamy, no county 
cricket league, no Kula system, provides a framework within 
which the relations between pueblos can be organised 
other than that of the political structure of the state and the 
social ties of the wealthy. Kinship has some small significance 
in this connection, but that honorary kinship provided by the 
compadrazco (co-godparenthood) has not, as in Mexico, 
evolved in order to fulfil such a function, 1 One institution 
only, friendship, reinforces the economic co-operation 
between pueblos, and that exists upon an individual basis, 
unencumbered-r-one might say, undefended by ritual of 
any sort. The instability of this institution and the reasons 
for it are dealt with in Chapter V. 

In fact, the exterior relations of the pueblo are conducted 
by different classes of people indifferent ways. The influential, 
professional and wealthy people link it to the structure of the 
state through political and social contacts. These together 
are designated in future as " the ruling group"* They form 
a group since they possess a solidarity which is essential to 
the exercise of their power in the pueblo, 2 and which finds 
its institutional expression in the "Movement", the single 
political party. They possess common values and common 
opinions upon many matters though they are by no means 
always in agreement with one another. These are the people 
who represent the government to the pueblo, and who 
represent the pueblo to the government. From the ambiguity 
of this position certain tensions merge. According to the 
situation they may express solidarity in sentiment and 
behaviour, either (a) with their pueblo against the rival 

1 I am indebted for this observation to Mr. George M. Foster, whose book 
Empire's Children contains an account of the compadrozco in Mexico. 

2 The words "group" and "class" appear to be much misused, A class is a 
number of objects which may be classified through the possession of a common 
characteristic. Group, on the other hand, implies a proximity which in soci 
ology one might interpret as solidarity, as for example in the expression " to act 
as a group", Yet modern practice allows "a traitor to his class ** and "the 
. 500-^750 per annum income-group". In fact, the terms art used indis 
criminately much of the time, and the assumption that social solidarity is 
purely an economic matter passes between them unquestioned. This assumption 
may be reasonable in * * Middletown ", in AlcalA it is not permissible. 

3. Gathering Esparto grass 


pueblo "We, the Alcalarenos, against those of Jacinas", 
as in the power struggle for leadership of the partido ; or 
(b] with the ruling groups of other pueblos in the business 
of administration and in commerce (this solidarity sometimes 
shows a hostile attitude towards their social "inferiors", 
sharpened by memories of the Civil War "We, the en 
lightened and responsible people, against the uncultured 
masses' 3 ); or (c) alternatively with either or both of these 
against the central government or its provincial representa 
tives, as when the whole pueblo co-operates in order to 
deceive the visiting inspector, and word is sent in order to 
give warning of his approach "We, the responsible people, 
defending the pueblo against the predatory bureaucracy." 

Linking pueblos in a different way, though sometimes in 
co-operation with members of the ruling group, are people 
such as millers, farmers, owners of flocks, dealers, artisans. 
These people carry on trade within the restricted area of the 
neighbouring towns. They show no solidarity as a group, 
since there is no situation in which they are juxtaposed to 
any other group. They are, rather, the richer element of a 
number of occupational classes, from the remainder of 
which they are distinguished neither by manners, speech, 
dress nor education. They are part of the pueblo in the full 
sense of the word. These people move about in order to 
extend their relations beyond the boundaries of their towns, 
gaining through such an extension both economic advan 
tages and prestige. In contrast to them, there are those who 
go away to seek a living because they cannot get one in their 
own home : journeymen to work in the harvest in the plain 
on the one hand, and on the other, beggars, doers of odd 
jobs, hawkers of anything from lengths of cheap cloth to 
religious medallions, gypsies who offer to clip a horse or 
find a buyer for a donkey, the hangers-on at fairs; shoe- 
shines, ice-cream vendors, prostitutes people who, for one 
reason or another, have gone into vagabondage. 

~ 3 


Occupation and Wealth 
(i) Agriculture 

IN THE first two chapters Alcald was defined in relation to 
the larger scale structures of province and state, and in 
relation to other similar communities of its neighbourhood. 
It is now time to turn to the internal structure of the pueblo. 

It is common for authors of sociological studies to employ 
the concept of "social class" in order to classify the members 
of a society, and this method seems adequate in dealing with 
the modern Anglo-Saxon world. In reality, there is consider 
able variation in the meanings which different authors have 
attached to this term. 1 But quite apart from the dangers 
arising from this fact, to accept any of the ready-made 
theories of social structure implicit in the different definitions 
would run contrary to the method of analysis of social 
anthropology. For analysis must always be preceded by 
description. The questions, therefore, which must be asked 
are not: " What are the social classes in this society?" and 
"How are they differentiated ? ", but : " What social distinc 
tions are recognised in this society?", "In what situations 
are they evident?" and "What is their significance?" Only 
by framing the problem in this way is it possible to avoid 
assuming beforehand that which one seeks to discover, and 
though in practice certain analytical distinctions must be 
made in the course of description, it is nevertheless wise to 
begin by describing those aspects of the society which are 
most evident, and which can be most unequivocally inter 
preted, before venturing to use so ill-defined a category as 
social class. 

Social distinctions are discussed in the course of the fol- 

* Gf. in particular : T. H, Marshall, Citizenship and Social Class (Cambridge, 


lowing chapters under various headings, and the first which 
I propose to treat is occupation. 

The majority of male occupations are connected directly 
with the land. The termino of Alcald measures a total of some 
twelve thousand hectares. Slightly more than half of these 
are classified as forest, though this includes both the acorn- 
bearing holm-oaks on the high ground (about a quarter of 
the total), the pine forests on the mountain and the fine 
glades of cork-trees whose naked trunks glow like red velvet 
after the descorche* It also includes areas of bushes and scrub. 
The arable land, a tenth of the total area, is of poor quality 
for the most part of second and third quality according to 
the official rating and it is hard and costly to cultivate on 
account of the slope and the frequent boulders and outcrops 
of rock. No modern machinery is used in the agriculture of 
Alcald nor would it be feasible to use any save in a few 
chosen places. There is no doubt that but for the high prices 
of grain on the black market during the post-war years 
(1939-50), much less land would be tilled than is the case. 
Much of the hillsides are terraced and formerly grew vines, 
and the wine of Alcald is held in good repute; but the phyl 
loxera destroyed the industry, and most of the vine-growing 
land was replanted with olives or reverted to pasture. The 
soil is suitable for the cultivation of the olive, and many 
groves have been planted within the last fifty years. There 
are 175 hectares of olives, that is, 13 per cent of the arable 
land. Crops are grown beneath the olives in order to take 
advantage of the ploughing which the ground must have. 

Pasture accounts for 16 per cent of the total area and 
another 19 per cent is classed as barren land though there 
are few rocks where the hardy goat cannot find a mouthful. 
There is a hillside of one hundred hectares covered by esparto 
grass, and some more is to be found among the pastures. 

The irrigated land covers less than fifty hectares in all, 
but its value under the meridional sun is out of all proportion 
to its area. Up to three crops a years can be taken off it by 
a skilful farmer, and it is here that the most profitable 
produce is grown: the fruit crop, walnuts, vegetables, 


The land is divided into properties of all sizes. Altogether 
there are over eleven hundred properties, though of these 
two-thirds are of less than two hectares in area. There 
are a hundred properties of ten hectares or over. Expressed 
in a different way, two-thirds of the total area of the 
tlrmino are owned in twenty-five properties of over one 
hundred hectares. There are four properties of over 500 
hectares, while at the other end of the scale 400 hectares are 
owned in a total of 800 properties. 

There are, it must be pointed out, farmers who own more 
than one property, and, as will be seen, there are areas where 
the land-holdings have tended to agglomerate in recent 
times. Yet there are still today 1 14 farmers of agricultural 
lands of more than two hectares. 

The smallest properties are agricultural land. Those of 
medium size are either agricultural or of open pasture or of 
olives. The large properties are all forest and pasture. There 
are also lands which are the property of the state. There are 
the passage-ways for flocks (c&nadas) which vary in width up 
to one hundred metres. The grazing there is public. There is 
a hillside near the village which is common land, The Town 
Hall owns a property of 800 hectares of pasture and forest 
which is administered today by the Ministry of Agriculture, 
though its grazing rights are leased for three-yearly periods 
by the Town Hall. There were once common lands of far 
greater extent, but they were put on the market by the state 
a century ago. In this regard the Spanish Liberals of the 
nineteenth century achieved the same ends, though in 
the pursuit of a different ideology, as the magnates of 
the English eighteenth century. 

The produce of these lands is as various as the methods of 
exploiting them. The livestock raised consists of pigs, goats, 
sheep and cattle, the latter a hardy half-brave breed, giving 
no milk and good only for veal in the market-towns or for 
bull-baiting in the local pueblos, * All the people who have to 
do with livestock, from the owner of a ranch of fighting- 

i The term " bull-baiting" is used in order to distinguish the various bull- 
festivals of the pueblos from the formal corridas de torosm the bull-rings of Ronda, 
Malaga, etc., for which the true fighting-bull, toro bravo^ is bred. 


bulls in the plain down to the humblest shepherd, are called 

The large properties of grazing land are administered 
directly by the owner or by his steward. The owners have 
flocks, but they also frequently let off pasture for short 
periods of a month or a few months. They employ ganaderos 
and guards for a salary. Those who stay up in the sierra with 
their flocks are usually employed on the basis of cabaneria, a 
system whereby a reduced salary is augmented by monthly 
supplies of victuals. 

Apart from the large landowners there are also flock- 
owners who own up to several hundred head but who have 
no property, or not enough at any rate to suffice for their 
flocks. Their flocks tend to move more than those of the large 
landowners and, apart from the general transhumance, their 
movements are adapted to the condition of the pastures. The 
irregularity of the rainfall causes this to vary considerably 
from year to year. These flock-owners are men who work 
with their own hands, but they also employ a number of 
men. Several of them have amassed sufficient wealth to buy 
properties of several hundred hectares. It is one of these who 
rents the property of the Town Hall. 

There are also smaller flocks of sheep, pigs and goats 
owned by independent ganaderos, or by small farmers whose 
children look after them. They do not employ a man regu 
larly, though they may do so from time to time for shearing 
or castrating. Every farm and also a number of households 
in the pueblo keep two or three animals, which supply 
household needs and graze upon the owner's plot of land 
or on the neighbouring canada. 

The animal from which most money is to be made is the 
pig. The beasts which are to be fattened for killing are 
castrated and sent up to the acorn-forests in the autumn when 
the acorns begin to fall. They stay there for three or four 
months and are killed during the cold winter weather. There 
are no flies then, and the risk of the meat going bad is small. 
These forests are populated not only with the animals of the 
landowner. Additional animals are accepted both from the 
herds of the ganaderos and also from the individual house 
holds, for it is every family's ambition to fatten a pig or two, 


since the hams and highly spiced sausages arc the traditional 
delicacies of Andalusian fare. The method of payment is to 
weigh the pig when it goes on to the property and weigh 
it again when it comes away, and pay according to the 
weight it has gained. While on the farm it is the responsi 
bility of the landowner's ganadero, but if it dies it is the owner's 
loss. The landowner, equally, gets paid nothing for having 
kept it, so that an outbreak of disease upon his pastures may 
rob him at the last moment of his year's gross profit. Pigs 
are also fattened upon maize in the farms in the valley, 
though this is not a general practice. There is less risk of 
disease, but it is more expensive. The animals kept for stock 
and the young animals cost little to keep : they are fed on 
household slops, grazed on the grass on the edge of the roads, 
on the passage-ways, or on the properties, and thrown a 
handful of maize or peas in the evening. Apart from the 
acorn harvest there is rough grazing in the forests during the 
rest of the year. Goats and the young pigs are kept there, but 
when the pigs come into the woods to be fattened all other 
animals must go. 

There are other forms of co-operation in the raising of 
stock. To have an animal "by halves" (llevar a mdias 
or llevar a rmta) is one. Goats may be lent by their owner 
to a ganadero for a specified time. In return, the ganadero 
takes the milk and also the kids, allowing the owner 
one kid per four goats per annum, regardless of their pro 
ductivity. The owner, therefore, gets a small return on his 
stock, but he pays nothing; and it is a gilt-edged security, 
for the ganadero must bear all the risk. If one of the owner's 
beasts dies then the ganadero must replace it. And the kids 
which the owner receives are the best, for he may choose 
them himself* They remain with the herd until the end of the 
contractual period. A similar custom exists for the exploita 
tion of sheep. 

An arrangement based upon the same conceptions is 
common in the raising of pigs. The pregnant sow is given to 
another party to feed and care for until the piglets are 
weaned. In return for this service he receives haljf the litter. 

A valuable product of the forest is its wood. This is made 
into charcoal. The owner of the forest may employ a char- 


coal-burner to work on his account. But a form of exploita 
tion by halves is commoner. The representative of the 
forestry commission gives permission for the trees to be 
felled. These are then marked, and the charcoal-burner 
moves in. When his work is done he meets the owner's 
representative and together they weigh it, dividing it into 
equal shares. It is stacked on the edge of the property nearest 
a road or track, and then mule- and donkey-drivers come and 
buy it to take to the big towns. 

The cork is cut from the trees every nine years. A dealer 
or the owner of the factory in Benalurfn comes and buys it on 
the tree. He then brings his men who cut it, weigh it in the 
presence of the owner's representative and cart it away. 

Other produce of the non-agricultural land which provide 
employment in various ways are the timber of the pine-trees, 
the esparto grass, and the partridges and rabbits. 

The agricultural land of Andalusia has largely been held 
in latifundia, ever since Roman times. 1 The complex of dry- 
farming, with its uncertain yearly returns and fluctuating 
demand for manpower, may be seen throughout the history 
of the Mediterranean to have tended to encourage the 
agglomeration of property, and also of habitations, into 
large units. The vast expanse cultivated by short-term, town- 
dwelling labour for a single master is common not only to 
Betica, la Mancha and Castile, but to much of Italy as well. 
This type of land-holding is typical only of the plains, 2 
and it is rarely found today among the mountains. The soil 
of the sierra tends to be poorer than that of the plain and is 
more laborious to cultivate and more subject to erosion. In 
any case its unevenness makes it unsuitable for large-scale 
exploitation. There are large properties in the campina of 
Guadalmesf but they are almost all exploited by tenants in 
small-holdings or parcelas, under the direction of a foreman 
who represents the owner, as well as himself cultivating a 

1 See Julio Gonzalez, Repartimiento de Sevilla (Madrid, 1951), pp. 

Also, E. Lvi-Provenalj UEspagne musulmane au Xtme sikle (Paris, 1932), 
p. 161. 

2 P. Carridn, Los latifwdios en Espana (Madrid, 1932), quoted by Brenan, 
op. cit., states that 68 per cent of the land of the province of Cadiz is owned in 
properties of over 350 hectares, 


parcela. Casual labourers unite with the small-holders for the 
performance of certain tasks in the harvest, when labour 
forces of over a hundred men take the field on one property 
after another. 

Upon the smaller arable farms of Alcali these methods of 
exploitation are not known There are three main areas of 
agricultural land within the Urmino, the chief of which lies 
in the valley below the town. As has been seen, the farms vary 
greatly in size. On the lower land, farther from the town, 
the holdings reach up to forty hectares. The richest farmers 
own several of these and exploit them directly themselves. 
Others are owned by people of Alcald, sometimes people 
who reside elsewhere, and are let to tenant farmers ; more 
commonly these days, they are owned by the farmers them 
selves. High prices since the Civil War (particularly on the 
black market) and a law protecting the rights of tenants 
giving them security of tenure and the right of first refusal 
in the case of sale have enabled many to buy their farms. 

The higher land nearer the pueblo is poorer. Much of it 
is terraced where the vines once grew. Much has been 
planted with olives. The holdings here tend to be smaller. 
There are, however, olive-groves of up to twenty-five 

Another type of agricultural property is the huerta or 
small irrigated farm. 1 There are about twenty of these in 
the valley. The average size is from one to three hectares, 
though such farms often include an adjoining patch of non- 
irrigated land. The area irrigated is determined by the 
amount of water which is available to irrigate them. Certain 
springs are the property of the farmer upon whose land they 
rise, and he can irrigate as much as the water-supply permits. 
Some patches of irrigation are no more than half an acre 
where a meagre trickle starts from the ground. But the main 
water-supply derives from three strong sources on the hill 
sides at the head of the valley. The water of these is not 
privately owned, but rights to its use are attached by tradi 
tion to certain lands. The water belongs to the millers for 

i The term huerta is also used for an irrigated area as in the name M la Huerta 
de Benamahoma'*, In the case of a very small irrigated farm or the patches of 
irrigated land which surround each mill, the term huerto is used* 


their industry, except for Tuesdays and Saturdays in between 
St. John's Day (24th June) and St. Michael's (sgth Sept.) or 
such other days as the mayor, at the request of the hortelanos, 
or cultivators of irrigated land, may proclaim. These days of 
irrigation are divided up into periods of a few hours during 
which each huerta receives its water. These periods were 
formerly determined by the movement of the sun. When it 
was light enough to distinguish which side up a coin lay in 
the hand the right of the irrigators commenced. When the 
sun's first rays struck a certain farm-house the right to the 
water changed hands. When the shadow reached the navel 
of the Infant Jesus which stands in the niche in the front of 
another house the water must change its course once more. 
For the most part these signs were shadows upon the rocks on 
the far side of the valley. These rights have, today, become 
converted by common consent into the hours of the clock, 
but whenever a dispute arises concerning the rule, the old 
farmers refer to the traditional senas del agua, the signs made 
by the sun. The rights are supposed to devolve from the 
regulations of the Confederation Hidraulica, which has 
jurisdiction over them, but in fact during the period with 
which we are concerned, the titles to water-rights were few, 
out of date and of doubtful validity. Nobody had bothered 
to regularise their water-rights for many years, and in the 
meantime both the course of the water and the accepted 
practice in using it had changed. It is not, therefore, sur 
prising that the great majority of disputes which arose in the 
valley concerned water-rights. 

The huertas are all farmed either by tenant or owner with 
the exception of the largest in the valley, which was exploited 
by an employee until 1950 and after that by a system of 
share-cropping which will be discussed later. As in the case 
of the other small farms, the huerta is a family concern. The 
farmers live with their families upon the land. Nevertheless, 
this does not preclude them from employing a man for a 
few weeks at a time when extra help is needed. Equally, at 
other times there are hands to spare, and a member of the 
family may well go out to work for a few days for a daily 
wage. They are at different times both employer and 


Finally, there are a great number of plots of land owned by 
people whose main source of income is the work of their 
hands some eight hundred of under two hectares whose 
average size is half an hectare. Most of these lie within three 
kilometres of the town* The land is usually of poor quality 
and there is an area, called los terrajo$> composed almost 
entirely of such holdings and dedicated mainly to the cultiva 
tion of the vine. These were distributed from common lands 
when the commons were put on the market in the last 
century. There has been a tendency for these small-holdings 
to fall in recent years into the hands of wealthier people. 
The two vintners have been buying them up. Nevertheless, 
most poor families still own a plot somewhere or other. 

There are 440 labourers and the majority of these men are 
employed by the day. Others are employed for a fixed period 
at a slightly lower salary, and others yet again are employed 
permanently at a further discount (jijos). The mean figure of 
employment is 350, but this does not take into account the 
periods of rain in the winter when work is laid off altogether, 
and no one is employed other than the fijos* nor does it 
include those who go away to work for the harvest in the 
plain. Employment by the day is a common feature of 
Mediterranean dry-farming, and the general practice in 
Andalusia used to be, and still is in many places, to collect 
in the central square at daybreak in order to contract for the 
day's work. This system is used in Guadalmesl, for example, 
but not in Alcald where the arrangement is made privately, 
usually the night before. 

Another system of employment is by piece-work. This 
system is used for weeding sometimes, l and is general in the 
harvesting of olives which is paid according to the quantity 
gathered. The olive harvest of 1951 was so abundant that 
there was a shortage of labour to collect it. Very favourable 
terms were offered to induce people to come. One small 
farmer even offered to go halves with anyone who would 

* In which instance it b contrary to syndical regulations, Piece-work was 
bitterly opposed by the Anarchist movement in Andalusia, which regarded it 
as abusive. It is not generally resented today in Alcal&, for it is practised only 
in the case of an individual arrangement between employer and employee. 
This is called un ajuste* 


come and pick for him, though the normal reward is one- 
ninth or one-tenth of the quantity picked. 

A variety of other forms of co-operation in agriculture 
exist which are reminiscent of those already mentioned in 
connection with pasturing. Plots of land on the large farms 
of the lower valley, small plots in the huertas or in the 
terrajos, are exploited in partnership by two men, whose 
motives are often social as much as economic. These are 
called aparcerias. The various requirements of the enterprise, 
land (irrigated or dry), seed, manure, and the various tasks 
which the cultivation demands, are shared between the 
two, and the crop is divided at the end. In theory it is the 
co-operation of two men, each of whom has something to 
offer, but who lacks either the time or material to venture on 
the undertaking alone. The man who needs grain to sow 
seeks a partner rather than pay for it and risk its loss if the 
year turns out badly ; the man who needs labour because he 
is himself engaged in other work (or expects to be) makes an 
aparceria rather than pay the money of a daily wage. So that 
the system has the aspect of an insurance policy. The risk is 
divided between the two participants, and the shared 
interest induces a keener co-operation than that which wages 
can elicit. It is nevertheless frequently difficult to see why a 
man has accepted to exploit his land in this way other than 
in order to render neighbourly service, repay a favour or 
cement a friendship. He may well be partner in an aparceria 
upon his own land, and at the same time upon the land of 
another. Moreover, he may also subdivide his share in the 
enterprise, bringing in an additional partner. 

Another variant of the aparceria is the partnership between 
the landowner and the landless labourer, the former putting 
up all the capital and equipment and the latter doing all the 
work. The landowner lends the seed to the enterprise and 
recovers it before the crop is halved. Yet another form applies 
to the clearing of woodland and its conversion into arable. 
Aparcerias may be made for a few months for a potato crop, 
or for the full three-yearly cycle of the land. The essence of 
this type of arrangement is the freely made contract, and as 
such its form is always liable to fluctuate. A certain stiffening 
in the demands of landlords has been noticeable since the 


war on account of the greatly increased demand for land 
and the high prices of agricultural produce. In fact, any 
arrangement, un convenio, may be made provided both parties 
agree. Thus, for example, the large huerta already mentioned 
is cultivated under an arrangement whereby plots of land 
are given over to different fanners of the valley in return 
for a fixed quantity of the crop sown, while the ground 
beneath the olives, which produces only a poor crop, is 
sometimes given over for nothing for the sake of the plough 
ing it will receive. If it is a good year the farmer makes a 
present to the owner of the land of a measure of grain, a 
gesture evoked by the social code and not by any legal 

It can be seen that money is made from the land in 
the following ways : 

(1) Through ownership only. Rent is paid yearly on 
St. Michael's Day. The landlord has no responsibilities 
other than the paying of taxes. Formerly, when tenants 
were not protected in their tenure and rents were uncon 
trolled, the landlords were prepared to put money into 
the land and deal with major repairs, now they tend not 
to. The traditional forms of contract l were clearly designed 
in order to protect the interest of the landlord and free 
him from responsibilities. They were normally made for 
three years (or multiples of three). The rented farms are 
all agricultural land with the exception of the property 
of the Town Hall, which is exceptional in every way. All 
tenancies date from before the introduction of the law 
which gives the tenants security of tenure, for no one will 
put a tenant in now that he cannot be evicted save by 
paying heavy compensation, Today there are more owner- 
farmers than tenants. 

(2) Through ownership and exploitation through an 
employee, an encargado. This is the system on which the 
large pastoral properties are run. The part played by the 
owner in the direction of the land varies a great deal. There 
is the absentee landlord who seldom visits his land; the 
landlord who lives elsewhere but comes frequently and 
takes an active part in its management ; the resident land- 

* Sec Zoilo Espejo, Costumbres de demhoy economia rural (Madrid, 1900). 


lord who leaves to the encargado no more than the duty of 
seeing that his orders are carried out. The degree of 
responsibility with which the encargado is entrusted varies. 
" Overseer" would be a good translation in many cases. 
He works with his own hands and is not differentiated 
from the mass of farmers and farm-labourers by any 
cultural standard. Few small properties are run in this 
way, and in Alcala it is generally considered unsatisfactory 
as a method of exploitation, save on the large pastoral 
properties which require very little administration, or 
when the owner is a practical farmer who directs the 
enterprise himself. 

(3) Through ownership and exploitation by the owner's 
own hands, together with such additional labour as he 
may require. This is the commonest form of exploitation 
of agricultural property. 

(4) Through ownership combined in partnership in an 
aparceria. This has already been discussed. 

(5) Through the exploitation of rented property. 

(6) Through the work of a man's hands in return for a 
daily wage, contracted for the day or a short period, or as 
a permanent employee. The wage varies according to the 
nature of the work. 

(7) Through a man offering his labour and such other 
assets as he may possess in partnership. 

(8) Through independent action ; hunting game either 
with gun or more usually by snaring or trapping; picking, 
preparing and sometimes working esparto grass, picking 
wild asparagus, making picdn, a kind of charcoal made 
from small wood by a simple and rapid process, or work 
ing a lime-kiln. These are methods used by those who can 
find no work or who prefer their independence. They are 
mainly outside the letter of the law since, in the majority 
of cases, they involve either poaching (though shooting- 
rights are not generally enforced by the owners of prop 
erty) or pilfering. 

The variety of forms of co-operation and also the con 
tinual fluctuations in the price-levels, both of produce and 
labour, which have already been mentioned, can be seen to 
relate, in the first place, to the insecurity which attaches as 
much to the role of exploiter as to that of employee (or 


formerly to the insecurity of tenure itself). All arrangements 
are short-term ones, for no one can have confidence in the 
future. Every harvest is a gamble, and the history of Anda 
lusia is one of alternating plenty and famine. Under such 
conditions one would hardly expect to find a steadily 
balanced system of exploitation such as is usual in countries 
of reliable climate and adequate rainfall 

What is more, this instability is visible not only in the 
system of exploitation but in the distribution of landed 
property itself, In the evolution of land-ownership two 
tendencies are simultaneously apparent in the valley: 
agglomeration and dispersion. The first owes its existence, in 
this instance, to the recent enrichment of the larger farmers. 
They have put their profits into land, and where possible 
have enlarged their holdings by the acquisition of neighbour 
ing ground, or they have bought other farms. In this manner 
a number of the larger properties have been built up out of 
smaller holdings in the last fifteen years. The tendency 
towards dispersion is caused by the fission of property which 
the law of inheritance imposes. The intricacies of this law 
need not be examined here. Its general effect and in this 
it is in harmony with the values of family life is to divide all 
inheritance equally among the children of both sexes. 
Families tend to be large, and while in some instances the 
heirs sell their share to one of their number, in others the 
inheritance itself is divided up. In this way a number of 
small-holdings have sprung up in the lower valley, where 
young men have built themselves a house upon their share 
of a larger property and settled down to farm it* A change 
in the controls and marketing values or a few bad harvests 
might well reverse this situation, for these small-holdings are 
uneconomical to exploit. In fact, both tendencies are 
inherent in the land-tenure of Andalusia, which might be 
described as either stagnant or dynamic from one period to 
another, but never as stable. 

In ri$um&) this instability finds its most obvious correla 
tions in the uncertainties which surround the exploitation of 
land, and in the hazards of the law of inheritance, but 
alongside these must be counted the lack of a mystical 
attitude towards the land, the value system of a people who 


dwell in towns from which they go out to cultivate the earth, 
but who do not love it. 1 

i This characteristic of the agriculture of Alcala, like many others, is typical 
of the whole Mediterranean, though it contrasts with the north-west of the 
Iberian peninsula. Gf. "Amour et labeur ont egalement manque" a la terre 
syrienne ; le fellah la cultive sans doute, mais comme a regret, et sans que son 
exploitation sache voir au dela des ne'cessite's imme"diates ; il travaille pour lui 
et non pour sa terre; il ne sent pas que celle-ci le dpasse et le prolonge." 
J. Weulersse, Paysans de Syrie et du proche- Orient (Paris, 1946), p. 173. 


Occupation and Wealth 
(ii) Industry and Trade 

IF THE possession of land bestows no social virtue and its 
cultivation, so far from being a sacred duty or a labour of 
love, is simply a hard and unrewarding way of making a 
living, it follows that the distinction between persons accord 
ing to whether they are engaged in agriculture or not carries 
no more than a purely practical significance. Occupation is 
a matter of choice, not of calling, and the nature of a person 
is not thought to be influenced by his occupation in the same 
way as it is, for example, by the place of his birth. It is true 
that the distinction between labourers and herdsmen is the 
subject of certain generalisations and the basis of not a few 
jokes. People who work the land sometimes jeer at the un- 
couthness and lack of ambition of the goatherds who are 
prepared to spend weeks at a time away in the mountains ; 
while the latter are proud of the independence which their 
life gives them. Yet in no situation do the two elements 
confront one another and in no sense are they opposed. 
Indeed, a great number of people have at one time or an 
other followed both the goat and the plough. In the same 
way we shall see that occupational distinctions, such as that 
between the millers and the hortelanos, even when they lead 
to opposition of material interests, are never extended beyond 
the occupation itself, never become the basis of a cleavage in 
the community. Neither millers nor hortetanos are thought 
even by the rival faction to be in any way different from the 
rest of the society. Some irrigate and some mill and both 
want the water, but there the matter ends. 

This conception is the antithesis of the notion of caste, a 
notion which will also find its place in this study when the 
gypsies come to be dealt with, but which is not found within 


the structure of the pueblo. Here, indeed, we touch upon 
one of the essential values of the pueblo which is the equality, 
in the sense of the identity of nature, of all those who are 
born in the same place. Whatever they may do and precisely 
because of the lack of such distinctions their versatility is 
very great they remain by nature the same. The dichotomy 
between the agricultural and the urban classes which has 
dominated English history down to the present day is one 
which cannot be made. Here everyone, conceptually at any 
rate, is a town-dweller. How he gets his living is another 

An important number of the dwellers in the valley are 
occupied in exploiting the source of power provided by its 
waters. These were once, before the advent of mechanical 
energy, at a greater premium than they are today. The cloth 
industry owed its existence in Alcala to the mountain pastures 
which produced the wool and to the streams which powered 
its numerous fulling-mills. The technical advances of modern 
industry, and Alcaldes lack of communications, had already 
almost ruined its prosperity when the electrically powered 
cloth-factory was built there in 1938. In recent years, the 
lack of electrical current almost brought that enterprise to a 
standstill, so that its owners started another venture, revert 
ing to the traditional technique and rehabilitating one of the 
old water-worked factories in the valley. Until 1951 the 
factory in the pueblo worked on an average only two or 
three hours in the day, and it is still threatened with power- 
cuts. It employs eight men and six women of various ages. 
The factory in the valley will employ perhaps half as many 
when it is working. 

The milling industry has encountered fewer difficulties. 
There are fourteen grain mills in the valley. A few ruined 
edifices litter the banks of the central stream, and those in the 
confluent valley whose water-supply enabled them to work in 
the winter months only, have disappeared altogether. Several 
of the mills working today were converted from old fulling- 
mills, though in their total number there are only two more 
than there were two hundred years ago (according to the 
census taken in 1 752 by the Intendant-General of theKingdom 

p.s. 4 


of Granada, the Marquds de Campo Verde). The activity 
of these mills is continuous and profitable, particularly since 
the war. There is an electrical mill in the village which is 
restricted by power-cuts to the same hours as the factory. It 
is the only mill authorised by the present economic controls. 
Nevertheless, even with its restrictions it manages to mill 
all the flour required by the rationing system, and a bit more 
on the side which is more lucrative to the miller, but gets 
him into trouble periodically with the inspectors. 

Being officially closed the water-mills are all entirely 
devoted to the black market, but grain from the campifia of 
Guadalmesi keeps them fully occupied. The techniques of 
milling have altered little since the Marques de Campo 
Verde's day. All the mills now employ stones imported from 
France, or failing that Barcelona, which are harder than the 
local granite, but only one has so far equipped itself with a 
ball-bearing for its central pivot, a local and imperfect 
invention which broke down after a few months* The re 
mainder continue with the traditional brass post-and-socket 
bearing. The volume of the mill-stream is not great, and no 
mill has more than one stone. Output depends upon the 
speed at which the stone can be driven, which again 
depends upon the amount of water. During the summer 
months the springs diminish and water is also required for 

The mill is a family unit and can be worked by a single 
adult male aided by wife and children,* but the work really 
requires at least two grown men. Several millers keep one 
permanent employee. One mill is rented and one is exploited 
on a system of halves. The remainder are the property of the 
millers. The millers are therefore independent men whose 
livelihood is made outside the economic structure which 
the state recognises, though the illicit nature of their work 
is never and, indeed, in such a society as this, never could 
be a cause for moral reproach, Nevertheless, they are not 
lacking in the traditional qualities of their calling. The 
millers of Alcald know all about mixing a little plaster in with 
the flour, dampening it in order to increase its weight, and so 
on, and their reputation for craftiness rests upon these prac 
tices and has nothing to do with their relations with the 


official hierarchy. Like the farmers of the valley, they also 
have profited by the high prices. 

In addition to the flour-mills there are two olive-mills. One 
is worked by electricity (though a petrol engine has been 
used in recent years to supplement its meagre source). The 
other makes its own electrical power from a small dynamo 
turned by a mill-wheel. Since olives are milled during the 
winter months the miller is not hampered by shortage of 
water as much as are the millers of grain during the summer 
and autumn. Both these mills are larger and much more 
lucrative concerns than the flour-mills and they employ 
several men during the milling season. 

Since both the owners are persons of influence and will be 
referred to later, it is convenient to introduce them at this 
point : 

The owner of "la Pileta", the mill worked by electricity, 
is Don Antonio. He is the son of a former landowner in 
Alcald who was also the chemist of the village. He himself has 
studied for the career of lawyer. His father was shot by 
the "Reds" together with his brother. Don Antonio has 
properties in Jacinas and Seville apart from the olive-lands 
and huerta of the Pileta, and he himself lives the greater part 
of the year in Seville where his children are being educated. 
His two spinster sisters live in the family's house in the 
pueblo and go down to the Pileta in the autumn for the olive 
harvest. The family reunites there for Christmas. The sisters 
play a leading part in Church affairs in the pueblo. While 
they are in residence in the valley the priest comes from time 
to time to say mass in the chapel which is part of the building. 
An employee goes round the farms to give notice and those 
who wish (and also those who wish for the favour of the 
Pileta) attend. The sisters supervise the milling and keep 
the count of the loads of olives which are brought in, but the 
family is not popular. The majority take their olives to be 
milled, at a more favourable price and more promptly, it is 
said, in "el Juncal". 

This is the name of the other olive-mill which was set up 
fourteen years ago in an old fulling-mill. The owner is 
"Fernandito Pinas", the son of a tenant farmer of Alcald. A 
bachelor of fifty-five, he is the youngest of four brothers, but 


it Is he who "has the voice which sings"* A story is told that 
the origin of his fortune was a treasure which a bandit hid 
upon his father's farm. He was not rich before the war but 
was a leading personality among the farmers so that he was 
made Mayor of Alcala after the flight of the "Reds". He did 
not remain mayor for long but has since been one of the two 
chiefs of the farmers' syndicate. He has made much money 
and bought much land, so that he is now the largest farmer 
and landowner in the valley. He lives in the Juncal in a 
modest manner, works hard and follows the way of life he 
was born to. He does, however, sometimes use the local taxi. 
He goes frequently to the pueblo and wields great influence 
in local affairs. He is a man of impressive appearance and 
old-fashioned manners, courteous but without social preten 
sions, shrewd and tough in business but charitable and a 
good employer, on which account he is popular. His heirs are 
two sisters' sons. 

The relationship of these two men to the community of the 
valley could not be more diverse. To begin with Don Antonio 
is seldom there. His sisters are in charge of the olive-mill 
most of the time. This limits the part played by the Pileta in 
local affairs. It is also limited by the fact that since it is 
powered by electricity they do not require the water of the 
valley. Their huerta possesses its own spring. It is sometimes 
suggested that his title to the water is false and that it is really 
the water of the community. There does not appear to be 
any justification for this suggestion. The Pileta derives its 
influence in the valley through property, through its power 
to employ and to provide an alternative to Fernando Pinas* 
mill, and through its relationship with the church organisa 
tions and the " Movement", the officially sponsored political 

Fernando Pinas is far closer to the community* He belongs 
to it as a person. He lives there. He also employs more men 
than the Pileta, and more people take their olives to him. He 
also has great importance on account of the fact that he has 
the right to employ water for milling, In the ill-defined 
condition of water-rights it is not difficult for the hortelanos 
(garden cultivators) to take advantage of the millers, since 
the latter, on account of the illicit nature of their occupation, 


cannot go to law. A traditional right exists to irrigate with 
the romanienteS) (properly remanentes)^ the water which seeps 
down the main channel after it has been cut off above. The 
millers use this to irrigate plots around their mills, but, in 
recent times, other farmers owning land on the banks of the 
channel have begun to use this water in order to irrigate land 
which has no claim to it. Hortelanos have tended to extend 
their hours of irrigation at the expense of the millers. In this 
situation a key position is held by those who use the waters of 
the valley for power in a licit manner, the owner of the cloth- 
factory in the upper valley, and, lower down, Fernando 
Pinas on the waters of the Juncal. They are able to go to law 
and can defend their rights, and they therefore become 
champions of the rights of the millers. When four years ago 
a meeting was called to discuss a project of employing a 
water-guard between the millers and hortelanos, it met at the 
cloth-factory. Agreement broke down over the question of 
the division of the expenses involved. Since then quarrels over 
water-rights have occurred every summer. 

Modern trends have treated the craftsmen of the pueblo 
less well than the millers and have contributed in ways which 
have already been mentioned to the general economic de 
cline of the area of the sierra. The destruction of the archives 
of Alcala by the Anarchists makes an exact comparison im 
possible, but it is not rash to surmise that the percentage of 
craftsmen in the total population is considerably lower than 
it was, say, one hundred years ago, even without considering 
those of the wool industry. In the days when cloth-making 
was at its height, it provided work in various crafts. The 
fulling-mills, the water-worked looms with their various 
processes, the washing of the wool, the spinning, the weaving, 
combined into single buildings as time went on (though the 
spinning of wool by hand and also hand-weaving as home 
industries did not disappear until the nineteen- thirties), the 
dyeing and all the dealing in a trade which was traditional 
throughout Europe at that time for the wealth which it 
brought made Alcala an exceptionally wealthy place for its 
size. Antonio Ponz 1 noted at the end of the eighteenth 

l Op.cit. 


century that in Alcali mendicancy was unknown thanks to 
the wool industry. But this is not the only craft to have 
declined. Soap is no longer made in the pueblo for sale, 
though many households make their year's supply at the 
time of the olive-milling. The soap offered for sale in the 
shops is brought from Ronda, whereas in 1846, according to 
Madoz, 1 there were two factories in Alcala. The sugar 
shortage of present times has virtually ended the manufac 
ture of chocolate. The copper foundry in Penaloja has closed 
down and sold out. The blacksmiths of Alcald no longer 
make the agricultural tools nor perform more than elementary 
repairs. Serious repairs are sent to the workshops of Ronda 
which have oxy-acetylcne welding plants. The decline of 
population has produced a glut of building materials so that 
the tile-kiln of the area has gone out of business. Now modern 
building is beginning to employ bricks where none were used 
before, and reinforced concrete makes its appearance among 
the plastered granite. These modern materials are imported 
into the pueblo, which was hitherto able to satisfy all its 
requirements from its own resources, its tiles and timber and 
its sand and stone. The plaster-burner still deals with the 
locality's requirements, and there is a kiln in the valley and 
another up on the hillside. Lime-kilns are numerous and are 
exploited by craftsmen either working independently or as 
employees of the owner of the land where the kiln stands. 
This, however, is not a whole-time occupation for anyone* 
The chair industry in Penaloja, powered partly by water and 
partly by electricity, continues to work. In Alcali one 
carpenter uses electrical power. One in the valley is buying 
piece by piece the machinery necessary to use water-power. 

The craftsmen are independently minded people, though 
they are by no means so independent in fact as the millers. 
The builders are employed by the day, and in wet weather 
they must usually stop work. The carpenters are employed 
either by the job, by the day or for a longer period. The 
blacksmiths work by the job in their shop. 

The only industry which seems not to have suffered in 
modern times is the shoe-maker's. Alcali has a long tradition 
in this art and men come from other villages to get their boots 

l P. Madoz, Dicrion&rw G&ogrqficQ*G$tadi$tUQ~histom0 d Expatta (Madrid, 1846). 


there, the heavy rough-hide boots which wear better than 
the products of the shops of Ronda. Yet the curing of hides 
is no longer done in Alcala except sporadically and inexpertly. 

As early as 1862 Mateos Gago, a politician of eminence 
and a son of Alcala, directed a report to the government 
pleading that the railway, which was being projected to 
connect the area of the sierra, should take the path of the 
valley of the Guadalete from the plain of Jerez to Ronda, 
giving among his reasons the necessity of bringing transport 
facilities within range of his native pueblo if its wool industry 
was to be maintained in prosperity. His plea failed, and the 
railway was built to Ronda from Algeciras. The gloomy 
prophecy of this far-sighted man was in due course fulfilled. 

The first motor-road reached Alcald in 1917 from the main 
Jerez-Ronda road. By 1935 the town was also connected 
to Jacinas, and another road to El Jaral over the mountains 
was under construction, though it was not finished until after 
the war. A local road down the valley to the main road was 
completed in 1930. Since the war a road was built over the 
pass to link up Penaloja with Alcald. It is not easy country 
in which to make roads. The sudden and heavy rainfalls on 
such steep slopes undermine all but the most soundly built 
and had by 1930 carried away segments of both mountain 
roads cutting off Penaloja from its parent. It can now only be 
reached by car by a roundabout route nearly fifty kilometres 
in length. Continual work is required if the roads are not to 
be lost during the bad weather. The roads are a state re 
sponsibility administered from the provincial capital, and 
only within the confines of the towns are they a local charge 
which explains, perhaps, why Andalusian roads tend to 
disintegrate at the entrance to a pueblo. The state-employed 
staff are mostly men from the area but not necessarily from 
the pueblo, and a foreman responsible for the tfamno^ lives 
in Alcala. The building or improvement of roads is put in the 
hands of contractors, but extra labour is also employed in 
the winter by arrangement between the foreman and the 
mayor, partly for the sake of the roads and partly as a 
measure to deal with the unemployment. 
On weekdays a bus runs from Jacinas to Ronda and 


returns In the evening. There is one taxi in the town and no 
lorry. The scarcity of transport is general throughout the 
country, and the roads are in a much worse state than they 
were in the days of General Primo de Rivera. Before the war 
Alcald had three taxis and a lorry. Now lorries come only 
occasionally, bringing goods, or collecting the charcoal which 
is stacked by the roadside near the large properties. 

For the daily needs of the community the form of transport 
is the pack animal : horse, mule or donkey. Carts were once 
used, though only to transport machinery and such things as 
could be moved in no other way. Now there are none. A 
system of tracks connects the pueblos of the sierra which 
were, before the building of the roads, a state responsibility, 
though there were also tracks which were the responsibility 
of the Town Hall. Nowadays both have fallen into disrepair, 
and where they were cobbled there are now only scattered 
stones. A number of mule-and donkey-teams were owned by 
members of the community which carried the products 
of the sierra far afield. Alcald, for example, even^ supplied 
Cddiz and Seville with ice, packed snow conserved in pits on 
the top of the mountain and carried down on mule-back 
during the summer. Today there is only one donkey-team 
left, which travels between Alcald and Jerez, Donkey- 
and mule-teams also come from Ronda to collect charcoal 
from the properties. Individuals who own a donkey and have 
no other work sometimes make up a team and go to Ronda 
with a similar load. The high price and high maintenance 
cost probably account for the fact that there are not more 
teams in the village. The farmers and millers own their own 

AlcalA receives mail on six days a week provided the bus 
does not break down, and the newspapers come from Cidiz 
only a day late. A single telephone post is open during the 

The high cost of transport, whether by motor vehicle or 
beast of burden, has an important effect upon the structure of 
the pueblo's economy through the inequality of price-levels 
which exists from place to place and from time to time. 
Buying and selling is an activity which can be very profitable, 
and the ambitious small capitalist turns to speculation. There 


is no clearly defined limit to the class of people devoted to 
trade. No social barrier separates those who trade from those 
who do not, and, except for the largest landowners who have 
neither the incentive nor the possibility since they do not 
live continuously in the pueblo, most of those who consider 
themselves sharp enough indulge in some form of exchange 
from time to time. Trade, in fact, is a general activity in 
which some specialise more than others. 

To begin, however, with the pueblo's shops : as in all small 
communities the degree of specialisation is small. The shops 
architecturally are no different to other houses. There are 
no show windows. Everybody knows what is sold in which 
house. The shopkeeper is nevertheless distinguished from the 
private person who happens to have something to sell by the 
fact that he pays a municipal tax, the matricula, for the right 
to trade. 

The prices in the shops of Alcala are, on an average, 10 per 
cent higher than in the shops in Ronda. Not only are there 
the costs of transport. Manufactured goods are frequently 
bought from dealers in Ronda or Malaga so that they have 
in addition to their cost price the percentage which the latter 
regards as his due. Wines and spirits pay a municipal charge 
on entering the pueblo. Those who have enough to buy to 
make it worth their while go to Ronda on the bus to make 
their purchases, and those who go there for any other reason 
take advantage of the opportunity. As in many other con 
texts things are cheaper for the rich. In addition, the bus- 
conductor makes his position a profitable one by doing 
people's shopping for them in return for a tip. He himself 
decides what his tip shall be. 

The shopkeepers also act as dealers, buying local produce 
(e.g. oil, grain, products of the pig), in bulk when the prices 
are low and selling it later at a much higher price when the 
scarcity has set in ; for the yearly fluctuations are very great, 
and those who can afford to, buy their supplies for the year 
in bulk when the price is lowest. This, as much as anything, 
has enabled the shopkeepers to become as rich as they are. 
Those who have done well have bought farms. 

But there are others who have started a shop in order 
to supplement other sources of income. The chemist is a 


professional man holding a state appointment, but he makes 
more of his income from his shop than from his salary. The 
former chemist was, in addition, a largish landowner. Other 
small landowners of a social standing equivalent to that of the 
professional classes have shops, In El Jaral the Justice of the 
Peace is a large landowner,, brother of the doctor and mem 
ber of the most distinguished family of the town, yet his 
wife keeps a shop. 

In addition to the general store-keepers there are those 
who have a small shop or keep a stall in the market; the 
bakers, who in three out of four cases are the close relatives 
of millers ; the two vintners, who make wine, sell it and also 
trade in an odd article or two ; the barbers and the keepers of 
bars. While on a smaller scale still, yet also aiding in the 
distributive system, are persons mainly widows with children, 
or women who for other reasons find themselves obliged to 
seek a living, who buy the farmers* produce in bulk when they 
arrive in the town with it and then resell it, either officially 
in the market, paying the small charge (5 reales) or privately 
in their houses. Then there are women poorer still who go 
round the farms buying or begging produce which they sell 
in the pueblo, The Civil War has left many such people, 
widows of men who died on the wrong side and who conse 
quently have no pension, who have a few children or an aged 
parent to keep* They circulate over all Andalusia, specialis 
ing, though not uniquely, in black-market items and contra 
band from Gibraltar, carrying things in baskets beneath their 
black shawls from places where they cost less to places where 
they can be sold for more, "buscando la vida n ("seeking a 
living 5 '). Their poverty is, in a way, the strength of their 
position : for if they are caught they cannot pay a fine, all 
that can be done to them is to confiscate their goods. There 
are others who gain their living in a more legal but not 
dissimilar way ; the men and women who buy eggs for the 
shops ; and the agents for the shops of the big towns who buy 
game as soon as the season opens. l 

There are a number of brokers in the town, ten altogether. 

i This causes the price to rise sharply. Game is caught and sold before the 
season opens, but the rmltmcia is too conspicuous an organisation to be per 
mitted to function then. It must await the official date* 


They buy and sell, contract for one thing and another, but 
their chief function is to act as agents to arrange sales. They 
deal in anything from a farm to a goat. Since theirs is a 
recognised profession they are liable to pay the matricula. 
The Town Hall of Alcala, unlike that of wealthier Jacinas, 
has not insisted upon this, and in fact none of them pay. 
These are the picturesque figures, with their long, forked 
walking-stick and wide hat, who are seen at all the fairs of 
Andalusia. Those of Alcald do not all live up to the tradi 
tional image, yet they have the same reputation for good 
humour and sharp practice as all the world over. There will 
be more to say about them in the discussion of the technique 
of bargaining. 

The distribution of wealth, as has been seen, is far from 
equal in this society. Both in terms of spending-power and 
also of the means of acquiring spending-power there is much 
variation. The large landowners receive considerable rents in 
Alcald without spending more than a few months there in 
the year, while poor labourers scrape along working seven 
days a week when there is work in order to feed a large 
family, dreading the long weeks of rain when no wages are 
paid and bread must be begged from the baker on credit. 
They are tough people and they raise healthy children 
on meagre incomes, but they are proud and perhaps the 
humiliation of their circumstances pains them more than 
their material wants. It is a curious fact that the rich towns 
of the plain with their beggars and their dirty children give 
the casual observer an impression of far greater misery than 
the pueblos of the sierra whose economic situation is worse. 
Yet the economic structure of a society is one thing and the 
social meaning of the rights which it engenders is another. 
We are concerned to know, therefore, not only who possesses 
or acquires or spends (and how and where) but what social 
values attach to possession, acquisition or disbursement. 

There is no doubt that the ideal behaviour is very much 
opposed to close-fistedness, but lavishness in one direction 
usually imposes restrictions in another. Here people like 
to make gestures of generosity towards the friend, the 
acquaintance and the stranger, and they like to make a show 
of their generosity. We shall see that generosity is more 


than a matter of the individual disposition but a require 
ment of the system of friendship. The accusation of meanness 
is very damaging to a person's reputation, for such prestige 
as derives from money derives not from its possession but 
from generosity with it. Wealth in itself is not, as in much 
of European society, an intrinsic merit* Conversely, poverty 
implies no inferiority in other spheres than the economic, 
and only the inability to respond to generosity places a person 
in a position of humiliation, for it exposes him to the accusa 
tion of being grasping. That is to say, it is only where 
economic inferiority is translatable into moral inferiority 
that it involves loss of prestige* It is precisely where all men 
are conceptually equal that this translation is able to be 
made because no subordination is recognised which might 
exonerate one man from returning the favour of another. 

These values are clearly illustrated by the behaviour of 
beggars, in which two distinct approaches to the problem are 
distinguishable. There is, to begin with, what might be 
described as the gypsy technique in begging. This consists in 
flattering, fawning, inspiring pity and using any conceivable 
line of moral blackmail to extract alms. The implication of 
meanness is the chief weapon in blackmail, and it is used not 
only directly in the form of a reproach but also behind the 
person's back. Thus, when Lola, the old gypsy, comes round 
the farms begging she takes from her basket all the things 
which she has been given elsewhere and shows them off. 
"... This bread was given me by so-and-so* These tomatoes 
they gave me at the mill And here is the orange which 
Fulano gave me a rich man like him and all he can find to 
give a poor woman in need is an orange. Shame upon his 
stinginess!" This method is used by habitual beggars, 
gypsies and persons who have lost their shame. The approach 
of the "honourable 9 * beggar is very different. 1 He is a man 
who would be ashamed to beg in his own village, but begs 
because he is travelling in search of his living and has run out 
of money* He asks for food or alms or work, and he asks for it 
quietly and proudly, basing his claim to help upon a duty 
which is thought to exist everywhere that he who has must 

i An excellent portrait of such a beggar is given by Washington Irving, The 
Alhambra (London, 1833), Introduction. 


give to him who has not. Such a beggar tends to be very 
shy and to stand at a distance waiting to be asked what he 
wants. He does not sacrifice his pride willingly and he feels 
troubled by it in such a situation. At times such people cover 
up their shyness by a brusque and insolent manner as if to 
deny that they are asking a favour which they cannot repay, 
and leave giving no thanks, for shame to utter the conven 
tional "May God repay you" of the beggars. 

The idea that he who has must give to him who has not is 
not only a precept of religion, but a moral imperative of the 
pueblo. It is visible in the manners of the people of Spain who 
will not eat in the presence of friend or stranger without first 
offering their food, a gesture in which this sentiment of the 
community of humankind is kept alive. Inevitably this 
"egalitarian" sentiment comes into conflict with the freedom 
to dispose of his property which every individual possesses. 
The idea of individual ownership is clear and strong, 1 and 
the total right of an owner to do what he likes with his 
property is never questioned. On the other hand, there are a 
very limited number of things he can do with money inside 
the pueblo, other than buy property to divide among his 
children. There are no expensive sports, no regular entertain 
ing in the home, no competition in conspicuous waste. All 
the houses are whitewashed inside and out. Floors are all 
tiled. Furniture is more plentiful in the houses of the rich, but 
there is no great difference in quality. All families, even the 
senoritos, eat the puchero (vegetable stew). With his money, a 
man can put his house in order, buy good clothes for himself 
and his family, good contraband coffee and tobacco, send 
his children away to be educated for a career, but beyond 
that point there is virtually no way of spending money other 

l This is well illustrated by the tenacity with which the rural Anarchists 
hung on to the idea of the reparto, the division of the land into individual hold 
ings in the face of the communistic doctrine of the movement. Gf. Diaz del 
Moral, op. cit., p. 61 ; " Y, disfrazado o no con sus falsos motes, el reparto ha 
seguido siendo en todas las exaltaciones campesinas la magica palabra que ha 
electrizado a las muchedumbres. No ya solo en las revueltas de la Internacional 
y en las de 1882 y 1892, sino en las agitaciones anarquistas de principios del 
sigloXX y en las sindicalistasde los ultimos anos, el estado llano de las sociedades 
obreras, a despecho de los elementos directores y, a veces con el asentimiento de 
&tos, ha aspirado siempre a distribute la tierra en lotes individuals, es decir, 
a ingresar en las filas de la burguesia agricultora." 


than on charity or on excursions to the big towns in search of 
el mcio. It is felt that rich people who go away to spend money 
are betraying the pueblo, and the reason often given for 
the economic decline of Alcald is the departure of a few rich 
families to the big towns of the plain. Most ways of spending 
money other than in satisfying the needs of simple living 
involve going away from the pueblo and are regarded as 

Los ricos, the rich, are always wicked when treated gener- 
ically. They are responsible for the hardships of the poor. 
They have perverted the social order through their ambitions. 
They are the source of corruption. Who the particular ricos 
are is obscure, but they are generally thought of as being 
distant personalities far richer than anyone in the pueblo, 
These opinions, although encouraged by the political creeds 
of the Left are by no means inspired by them, nor are they 
necessarily found in company with them. They are, rather, 
part of the value system of the pueblo. 

The moneyed people of the place are thought of by many, 
in many social contexts, as evil. Their fatness is pointed out 
as a proof of their over-indulgence and idleness. The shop 
keepers in particular come in for adverse comment, and the 
advantages which wealthier people have, particularly with 
regard to what they are able to do for their children, are 
bitterly resented. Yet here, already, the sentiment of moral 
indignation has made way for personal jealousy* It is felt 
that such advantages are wrong, and yet few will not admit 
that they would take them if they had the chance. 

The values relating to money may be summed up as 
follows. They are not those of protestant capitalism. 1 The 
possession of money here is in no way a sign of grace, or a 
basis for moral distinctions. It is morally neutral. But the ways 
in which it is acquired or spent are subject to moral judge 
ment. If it is gained at the expense of others, it is ill-gotten. If 
it is guarded avariciously, if it is spent in self-indulgence, it is 
evil. If it is gained by intelligence or hard work, if it is spent 
in meeting moral obligations, then it is good* Money is 
something which enables a man to be what he wants. It gives 

i Of. Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of G<xpitdim> trans. 
Talcott Parsons (London, 1930). 


him power, power to be either good or evil. It bestows 
prestige only if it is employed in a morally approved manner. 
This clearly leaves the door open to a certain ambiguity. For 
the moment I will go no further into the question than to add 
that persons who become involved in the system of patronage 
tend to regard this as the proper manner of using wealth- 
The successful patron, thanks to his wealth, acquires great 
prestige within the orbit of his influence and escapes, thereby, 
the condemnation which is reserved for los ricos. 

Nor are the values relating to money those of nineteenth- 
century liberalism. Transactions with money are not opera 
tions of an impersonal economic law but a form of personal 
relationship in which people establish or express mutual 
regard through an exchange of goods. We have already seen 
in agriculture co-operative ventures which resemble arrange* 
ments to take in one another's washing. Articles are not 
thought of as having an intrinsic money value, but are 
subject to the relationship of the persons who exchange them, 
An item is not "worth such-and-such a price" in itself, but 
only in relation to a specific vendor and a specific buyer, The 
idea that the vendor is bound to sell at a certain price be 
cause it is the price that others are asking is not generally 
accepted ; on the contrary, it is thought right that a wealthy 
person should pay more for things than a poor person unless 
the vendor wishes to honour him. A shopkeeper favours an 
influential client by making him a special price. Since he likes 
to favour all his clients, no one, in the end, is charged the 
price advertised in the window. Money payments for services 
are particularly liable to fluctuation in this way in a com 
munity where many men are employed singly for a short 
period or for a specific task. A service performed for money 
remains none the less a service and commits the recipient to 
moral obligations even though he may have paid through the 

The subjection of economic values to moral and social 
values is illustrated rp. the technique of bargaining. For while 
marketing and purchasing fit into the framework of estab 
lished social relationships, or serve to establish them, the 
negotiations with capital values do not. The vendor of an 
animal or a property wants to sell it to the person who will 


give him the most for it, and he wants as much as he can 
possibly get, for it is an event which will not recur. On the 
other hand, to do this involves him in a violation of the moral 
code. To admit that one has asked an exorbitant figure or 
offered an inadequate one is to confess oneself grasping or 
mean and to lose face. Yet not to get as much as one can is 
to lose money, and be made a fool of. The essential hostility 
between the two bargainers is not only itself potentially anti 
social, it leads to a commitment of pride which makes it 
impossible for the two to reach an agreement. Hence, the 
role of the professional corredor, or broker, who steers the 
bargain to a clinch, saving the face of the bargainers through 
his intermediary position. He, or there may be two of them 
each representing his client, acts as a friend, pleading, argu 
ing, flattering, lying, using all his guile to induce the buyer 
to raise his price, the seller to lower his, enabling each to 
maintain the fiction that he is not really keen upon the deal, 
that he enters it only to oblige the other. To drop this fiction 
means to lose the bargain. 

There are also, of course, sales between friends, but these 
are conducted in private and there is no need for a corredor, 
They fit into the scheme of friendship, as a favour which 
creates or fulfils an obligation. Men are sometimes heard to 
complain that they have been obliged by friendship to sell 
something which they had no wish to part with* Sometimes, 
moreover, this is quite true. 


Status and Age 

ALREADY in examining the values which attach to money 
we have raised the question of the significance of possessions 
in differentiating one man from another. This was discussed 
in terms of prestige. The question of status was deliberately 
left on one side, though it may have occurred to the reader 
that the prestige derived from wealth might nevertheless play 
an important part in determining status and in defining 
social class. 1 This question is the subject of the present 

We have discerned in the pueblo a strong reluctance to 
accord superior status to its members Who are economically 
superior, and in the pages which follow the different bases of 
differentiation will be examined and some attempt made to 
detect where they give rise to a superiority of status. We must 
be on our guard against assuming that status will necessarily 
be recognised by the same attitudes and sentiments as in our 
own society. Already in the seventeenth century foreign 
visitors were astonished by the familiarity with which the 
grandees were treated by their retainers, and the traveller of 
today is frequently struck by the distinction which the Anda- 
lusians., and indeed all Spaniards, seem to make between the 
personality and the social position of others, a distinction 
which gives to their manners a particular warmth and deli 
cacy. Nor is it to be detected only in their behaviour towards 

i I use the word "status" in the sense current in modern sociology, as, for 
example, Professors Maclver and Page when they write : cc Status may be based 
upon differences of birth, wealth, occupation, political power, race, or, as in 
the case of traditional China, intellectual attainment. Frequently status is 
determined by a combination of two or more of these factors." (Society, p. 353.) 

It is well to bear in mind that status is not necessarily a matter of hierarchy, 
but simply of differentiated social position. Hence the status of a guest. However, 
for Maclver and Page, it is the criterion of social class where "a hierarchy of 
status groups" exists (Society, p. 348), and the essence of class-distinction is the 
"social distance" which this hierarchy imposes between its different levels. 

P.S. 5 


foreigners, whose strangeness and whose special status might 
be expected to provoke a form of conduct which is excep 
tional. It is a distinction which is fundamental to the system 
of values of this society and which underlies all social be 
haviour. It might be expressed in various ways, as a respect 
for human personality rather than for human rights, or as 
the belief in all men's equality in the sight of God, or in the 
ultimate futility of the mortal condition, or, at any rate, as 
a lack of faith in man's ability to control his own destiny. 
This regard for personality is present in the adult's behaviour 
towards the child and in the Justice's behaviour to the crimi 
nal and in the criminal's behaviour to his victim. It cannot 
be expressed in sociological terms, and yet it is recognisable 
in Andalusia in every social context. 

It will be apparent that a certain status is accorded to 
those who occupy official positions in the pueblo. These 
people, the administrators and professional men, are first of 
all considered, not in relation to the structure of government, 
but as members of the community. The high proportion of 
outsiders among them has already been noted. With the 
exception of some of the schoolmasters, all the professional 
men appointed by the state come from another area, and if 
they own any property it is not here, nor do they have a 
motive to acquire any here since they aspire to be moved in 
due course to a more important post. Recent times appear to 
have increased the number of outsiders in this class. The 
Mayor of Alcald (and of certain other towns as well) is today 
an outsider, a state of affairs which could never, it is thought, 
have occurred a generation ago. The doctor and the chemist 
are also outsiders today, while formerly both posts were filled 
by sons of Alcall The yearly salaries of professional and 
administrative people, if they have no other source of in 
come, give them a standard of living far below that of the 
large landowners, yet they "keep up appearances" with the 
rest of the resident wealthy. Members of the smaller property- 
owning families also fill certain administrative posts, such as 
director of the Monte de Piedad, of the Property Registry, 
etc., while other of their members have been taken away 
by their careers to distant parts of the country. They are 


distinguished from the richer farmers, in several cases con 
siderably wealthier than they are, by education and by the 
refinement of manners which accompanies it. They do not 
keep apart from them socially, however, but may be seen 
together in the casino talking at the same table or playing 

Who, exactly, comprises what I have called the ruling 
group, and in what ways are they differentiated from the rest 
of the community? Other than landowners and the pro 
fessional people, there are the owners of the larger business 
enterprises and also the occupiers of municipal office, legal 
office or those who have influence in syndical or Church 
affairs the people in whose hands effective power resides. 

Power, however, means much more than the occupation of 
a post endowed with authority. It means : "the capacity in 
any relationship to command the service or the compliance 
of others" l the control of social sanctions. Thus economic 
power means the ability to apply economic sanctions, to offer 
rewards in the form of material advantage, or to refuse them, 
power to employ or sack, to buy, sell, allow credit, quash a 
fine or to favour materially in any other way. For this reason 
the owners of large properties are all to be included in the 
ruling group, though their importance within it, the use they 
make of their economic power, depends very much upon the 
individual personality and the circumstances of their lives. 
Those who do not live in the town cannot play much part 
in local politics. 

Political power means the ability to enforce sanctions 
which derive, ultimately, from the laws of the state, that is, 
through the institutions recognised in those laws. These are 
various and relate to such matters as municipal government, 
the organisation of Justice, the constitution of the Civil 
Guard, the syndicates, and so forth. 

Power also derives from medicine. The doctor, the vet 
and the chemist possess power, since, quite apart from the 
official documents which may require their signature, they 
have the monopoly of services which people need. In the same 
way the priest is an important member of the ruling group. 
He can appeal to the religious conscience of those who are 

i Maclver, The Web of Government (1947), p. 82. 


sensitive to such an appeal. He alone has power to perform 
the rites of the Church. 

The members of the ruling group share certain common 
standards of conduct, the most important of which is their 
adherence to the Church. These standards are necessary to 
the cohesion of the group and are never questioned by its 
members. For power, while it enables those who possess it to 
influence the conduct of others, makes them at the same time 
more sensitive to the sanctions of others. An anti-clerical 
schoolmaster or doctor would not hold his job down for long. 
A landowner who aroused the antagonism of the other mem 
bers of the group, particularly the municipality, would find 
himself at a disadvantage in a number of situations, which 
will become evident later. Equally, the landowner who 
antagonises the pueblo can get no good labour. (There have 
been instances of this in Alcald.) But the old man who lives 
in a cave, begs and eats berries, can say what he likes, 
provided he does not forfeit the charity of all. 

The ruling group owes its integration, then, to its structural 
situation, not to the possession of overt characteristics. It is 
significant that no word exists in current usage in Alcald to 
designate this group of people genetically precisely because 
they are not a class but a group. When they are referred to it 
is by the nebulous title "los que mandan en el pueblo" 
("those who command in the pueblo"). There is no uni 
formity among them either of dress, education, birth, wealth 
or way of life. This is made plain by a consideration of the 
ways in which the different elements of the community are 

First, dress. There is a clear distinction to be made between 
working-clothes and smart clothes. The aspect of the pueblo 
on a festive day is quite different from its usual appearance. 
There are few men, then, who do not dress in "urban" 
clothes : cloth suit, leather shoes, collar and tie. Those who 
live in the valley keep their festive clothes in their house in 
the pueblo. They never wear them in the country, but they 
wear them in Alcald for special occasions and for courting, 
and they would not go shopping to Ronda if they could not 
wear therh, for the Andalusian is extremely sensitive in 
matters of appearance. 


The sombrero de ala ancha, or wide-brimmed hat, is an 
article both of festive and also working-dress. It bears a 
particular association with ganado (livestock) and is always 
worn with the short jacket and tight trousers of cattle herds 
men. But bullfighters wear it in this way for charity fights 
out of season. It is worn as working-dress by shepherds whom 
its brim protects both from sun and rain. In wet weather a 
mackintosh cover is put on. It is worn by many farmers also, 
though agricultural labourers tend to wear berets or soft hats 
instead. The landowner also wears it if he goes into the 
country, particularly if he goes on horseback. Yet it is worn 
without a tie for it must never be worn with a tie on 
festive occasions by poor people as part of their smart dress, 
and it is also worn by the sophisticated at fairs and bullfights. 
(To wear it at the bullfight is the mark of the enthusiast.) 
The professional and administrative classes do not wear it, 
for it implies an association with ganado which in them would 
appear pretentious. It is because of the associations of the 
feria (the festival, fair and cattle-market) with the spirit of 
merry-making that it is the theatrical dress of flamenco 
singers and dancers. 

Apart from the occupational nature of working-dress which 
distinguishes the manual workers, distinction of the degree of 
importance of a man is not easily made. Few of the members 
of the ruling group wear ties every day ; the majority do not 
shave every morning. Some of them wear berets. In general, 
the distinction which in summer strikes the eye in matters of 
dress is not between persons of different social category of the 
pueblo, so much as that between persons of the pueblo and 
summer visitors. In dress the professional men vary between 
the fashions of the summer visitors and those of the leading 
families of the pueblo. 

Nor does the female dress reveal any clearer distinctions. 
As with the men, those who work are clearly distinguished on 
working-days. But on festive days the young all struggle to 
array themselves more splendidly than the rest, and some 
idea can be gained of the economic position of the family 
from the quality of their clothes. Hair-styles are hardly 
significant, unless the tightly waved permanente be taken to 
mark a lack of sophistication. No women ever wear hats. For 


church all wear the small black lace vdo in which a certain 
variation can be detected as to size and quality. Elderly 
women all dress in black. Just as for fairs men don the wide- 
brimmed hat of the ganadero 3 so girls put on the spotted and 
flounced cotton dress of the gypsies. But, today, at the fair of 
Alcald almost all the girls who do this are summer visitors 
with the exception of a few small children whose adoring 
parents wish to show them off. 

There is certainly no lack of display, and the general 
standard of dress reached is indeed quite remarkable, con 
sidering the material possibilities of the people of Alcald. The 
idea of display is formulated in the verb lucir, meaning 
literally, to shine, thence to distinguish oneself or to show 
something off. There is often a Cinderella who will not go to 
the fair because she has nothing to show off, and will be put 
to shame and made pitiful in front of her friends, But the 
motives for showing off are not those which might be deduced 
from the " theory of a leisure class". 1 The display is not 
directed towards the object of differentiating oneself from 
others considered of inferior social standing, and economic 
differences do not give rise to differences of style. In the 
small society where everyone is known personally there is 
neither advantage nor need for visual differentiation as in the 
anonymous society of the city. Here display aims at a differ 
ent target, that of personal aesthetic triumph, the conquest 
of admiration and the humiliation of one's equals. 

The variation of speech and accent from one pueblo to 
another has been mentioned already in Chapter I. There is 
no variation in accent between persons of different social 
position other than such as may be ascribed to education. All 
the upper classes of Andalusia speak with a strong regional 
accent. Education means the elimination of a number of 
"rusticisms", 2 but the word "education" means a great 
deal more in this community than book-learning, and refine 
ment of manner and speech are things which may be found 

1 See T. Veblen, The Th&ory of the Ldsun Class (New York, 1922). 

2 Among the wealthy of the large towns are to be found those who affect a 
vulgar mode of speech in order to stress their affiliation with the country, 
landed property, bullfarms and old-established riches. 


quite independently of schooling. This, however, is a matter 
which cannot be objectively assessed, nor is illiteracy some 
thing which can be measured statistically, though such 
statistics are to be found in the municipal register and 
statistics of illiteracy of the country are published. Over and 
above the completely and self-confessed illiterates are those 
who read and write with more or less fluency. The total 
figure, though it represents only those of the adult population 
of Alcald who have no pretensions to literacy, is worth 
examining. Illiterates are found above all in the higher age 
categories. The percentage among the over-sixties is very 
high. Looked at from another angle the element which shows 
the highest figure is that of old-fashioned farmers, for the 
reason, perhaps, that they were more frequently raised upon 
farms too distant for them to attend school. 1 Contemptuous 
reference is often made to the lack of education of the farmers 
of the lower valley, the richest area of the territory, and of 
the wealthier flock-owners. Illiteracy is not therefore confined 
to the economically weakest element of the community, and 
does not appear to handicap the man who farms a single 

These country-dwellers were not entirely denied the possi 
bility of education, for the profession of ambulant teacher, 
maestro rural, is an old-established one in the sierra. Men 
whose qualifications extend little beyond a cursory know 
ledge of the three R's visit the distant farms to give the 
children lessons, and gain thereby a wage barely greater than 
that of a labourer. Today in Alcala there are five men who 
make their living in this way. If there are reasons to suspect 
that their pains do not always lead to success, the existence 
of such an institution does, at any rate, testify to the desire 
and respect which the people of Alcala have for the accom 
plishments of the mind. 

The consideration to which a career entitles a person is far 
greater than that which mere wealth can evoke. Within the 
framework of the egalitarian values of the pueblo it supplies 

* I am by no means convinced that the assumption made here is justified, 
i.e. that illiterate people are those who were not taught as children to read and 
write. It is quite possible that some who had acquired these arts at twenty had 
lost them again through lack of practice by the age of sixty. 


a reason for respecting a person in himself and not merely on 
account of what are regarded as fortuitous circumstances, 
that is to say., his possessions. 

People assert that the courtesy title of Don is the privilege 
of those who hold a university degree, who have a "career". 
In practice the use is heavily influenced by other criteria, 
such as age, wealth, appearance and occupation. Thus, very 
few unmarried men are addressed as Don, until they reach 
full middle-age, the exceptions being a young doctor, and 
a young lawyer who is the Secretary of Justice. All four 
schoolmasters are addressed as Don, but not the young man of 
twenty who is schoolmaster in the school in the valley. The 
priest is Don, but his brother who lives with him is not Don. 
By no means all the ruling group are Don. Of the two Justices 
of the Peace, one is rarely, the other never, Don. But the 
corporal of the Civil Guard is sometimes Don, a gesture of 
deference to his authority. 

The circumstances in which the title may or may not be 
used are of great significance. There is all the difference 
between addressing a person directly and referring to him to 
a third party. Who this third party is, is also important. 
Official occasions again demand a distinct mode of speech. 
In daily life all other categories are heavily influenced by the 
respect which is felt for a person on account of his character. 
A reluctance to refer to some of the resident landowners as 
Don behind their backs is noticeable, even though they may 
be persons of age holding important administrative posts. 
The largest resident landowner called " el Senorito " is usually 
called Don if referred to by his name, but his son, a young 
man of twenty-six, never, either directly or indirectly. He is 
called by his Christian name like any other member of the 

While the title is freely accorded to those who are con 
sidered to merit it (and the professional men are so con 
sidered regardless of their popularity), a great deal of 
resentment is directed against those who like to be called it 
without the full conformity of the pueblo. The family of a 
young and able business-man furnishes a case in point. His 
father is commonly called Don Rodrigo, and the family first 
came to live in the pueblo eight years ago. On one occasion 


a craftsman and his friend, a small farmer, were overheard 
discussing him : "He's no more Don than I am." " What is his 
career I'd like to know?" "He's nothing but a silly old fool 
who gives himself airs." "If he is Don Rodrigo then we're all 
Don, I am Don Andres and you are Don Manuel." When 
questioned about the son they firmly asserted that he would 
never be called Don. Some of his employees refer to him as " el 
Senorito Pepe", but otherwise no one calls him anything but 
Pepe. He is married to a member of one of the leading 
families of the pueblo and has considerable social ambition. 
It remains to be seen whether the craftsman's assertion will 
be disproved. When asked whether Fernando Pinas was 
called Don when he was Mayor of Alcala they replied 
that some addressed him like that, but only with their 
tongue in their cheek to curry favour, for in those days 
there were many in need of his favour. Today nobody 
calls him Don. This, though he is one of the leading 
personalities of the ruling group, and one of the largest 

The reason why such people can never be accorded the 
title is because they are felt to be no different from others. 
They are part of the pueblo. This is the point at which the 
identity of the two distinct meanings of the word is demon 
strated. As has already been stated, the pueblo is at the same 
time the members of the community and also the people in 
the sense ofplebs. If a person is raised to the status of a career 
he no longer belongs entirely to Alcald but to the wider 
community of the educated. * People no longer feel equal with 
such a person. He is no longer judged by the same standards. 
He is different. The title of Don is used, we may say, to 
express recognition of this difference. But this difference has 
nothing to do with blood, it is a question of a degree of refine 
ment acquired through up-bringing and education, which 
involves him in a different world and makes him a different 
kind of person. 

The title is also used in all official contexts, in legal docu 
ments and on envelopes or on the town hall notice-board, 
for any adult person. The state denies its competence to 

i Cf. Blasco Ibanez, op. cit. The Anarchist preacher is addressed as "Don 
Fernando" by the workers. 


determine who is or is not to be called Don by calling every 
one so. Or, expressed from the point of view of the pueblo, 
when a person enters into relations with the world of "official 
dom" he becomes a temporary member of the community 
of the educated. 

A word of prime importance to the question of social 
distinction is Setter* Like the title Don, it is a term which 
denotes respect or "social distance". In general, it is used as 
a term of address to a stranger, or by children to adults, or 
when receiving an order, or pompously for emphasis: "Si, 
Senor ! " (" Yes, Sir ! ") . It is also used to address and to refer 
to God. Its original meaning is seigneur. In everyday use it 
indicates a person unknown or unnamed, or, as a specifically 
descriptive term, a person-worthy-of-respect. Within the 
pueblo it is used as a title for elderly persons-worthy-of- 
respect It is prefixed to the Christian name in the same 
manner as Don. Whereas the title Don is given to a person of 
full social maturity, but differentiated from the pueblo by 
status, the title Setter is given to members of the pueblo whose 
maturity is past, and who have retired from active work. 
There is no strict property qualification, but it is accorded 
more freely to the successful old farmers than to people who 
live in the pueblo. One must be a "fine old boy" to be given 
it. Indigence, drunkenness or any serious moral shortcoming 
disqualify one completely. The feminine form Senora (Sena) 
appears to be bestowed a little more freely. In such contexts 
it is used by persons of superior social status with a nuance of 

The diminutive of this word has different connotations. 
There is, to begin with, Senorita meaning " Miss", but senorita 
is at the same time the feminine ofsettorito and as such it may 
be used to refer to a young married woman, Senorito is used as 
a term of affectionate respect with reference to or in address 
ing the young adult of superior status. Servants use it. 
Employees sometimes use it. Gypsy beggars use it to any 
person dressed in urban dress, for the attribution of youth 
flatters, Using it carries an implication of subservience. It 
can mean the most important person in a place, the boss, 
provided he has the necessary status. As such it comes to be 


the nickname of "el Senorito", the largest resident land 
owner, the son of a former cacique. 

It is a term which easily becomes sarcastic, so that it may 
mean not only a "person worthy of respect" but also a 
person with social pretensions. Used to denote a social 
category it means the well-to-do without necessarily implying 
any respect. "The senoritos of this place ", I was once told in 
a town of another province, "are a rotten lot. They are 
always putting their servant-girls in the family way, and 
won't pay a decent wage to anybody." In this sense, as the 
propertied people, it was used as a political weapon by 
the Left, which coined the word senoritismo, the oppression of 
the have-nots by the haves. The communist underground 
propaganda discourses insistently on this theme. 

In the widest sense it means a person who is not obliged 
to work for his living, who wears a collar and tie all the time 
and keeps his shoes clean. But it has not for that reason lost 
its use as a term of respect. Maria la Castana, the widow of 
a small tenant farmer, can tell a real senorito when she sees 
one from one of those fellows who are just trying to look like 
one "and there's a lot of them about these days!" you 
can tell by the way they behave to people, she maintains. Do 
they have to be born senoritos in order to be real senoritos? 
She is not sure, but they have to be brought up as real senoritos 
otherwise no amount of money can make them what they 
are not. 

How the behaviour of real senoritos varies from that of 
those who do not deserve the appellation is not easily said. 
The criteria are necessarily subjective, but an inclusive view 
approximates to the following : 

(1) The senorito has education and manners. He is not 

(2) He is generous with money, even care-free. Mean 
ness is the hall-mark of the nouveau-riche, it is thought, and 
this view is expressed in the saying : 

"Ni pidas a el que pidio 
Ni sirvas a el que sirvi6." 

" Neither beg of him who begged 
Nor serve him who once served." 


(3) He looks after his dependents and uses his influence 
to protect them. He willingly accepts to be patron to them. 

(4) He does not tolerate humiliation nor accept to be 
put under specified obligations to people who are not also 
senoritos. He will not permit such people to buy him a 
drink. He knows how to be friendly, simpatico, and to talk 
with people on an equal footing, yet without relinquishing 
his status. He uses the second person singular towards his 
dependents "with whom he has confidence 53 and provided 
they are of his generation or younger, but he does not 
allow them to use anything but the third person to him. 

(5) His family does not observe all the customs of the 
pueblo (e.g. in the naming of children and their upbring 
ing, etc.), 

It can be seen that ideally the distinction between the 
senoritos and the pueblo is very clear. In practice, of course, 
it is not in the least so. There are many marginal cases on 
which judgements vary. The smorito who is thought not to 
be a real senorito is nevertheless treated as such on the surface. 
Even "el Senorito" comes in sometimes for a piece of adverse 
comment behind his back and is compared unfavourably 
with the summer visitors. It is hard to find the personification 
of an ideal in someone who is always there. 

Brenan has observed that the anti-clericalism of the 
Anarchists was in part inspired by the feeling that the Church 
had betrayed the ideals of Christianity. l Analogously, anti- 
senorito talk often rings with a nostalgia for the betrayed ideal 
of aristocracy. 

How far do these facts assist in answering the questions put 
forward on page 34 ? 

The distinction between pueblo (plebs) and the sefioritos has 
been made. Otherwise the pueblo has been treated as a 
culturally homogeneous whole. Is such treatment justified ? 
To begin with, it has been shown that there is no "hierarchy 
of status groups". There is a differentiation of status relating 
to upbringing and education and this is, by and large, what 
is called a distinction of social class, but this is not clearly 
defined nor does it correspond to similar differentiations in 

i 0/. tit. 9 p 191. 


political power or wealth. There are certain cultural varia 
tions whereby la gentefina (fine folk) are differentiated from 
the pueblo, but these relate to territorial horizon as well as 
to standard of education. The pueblo recognises that the 
indigenous senoritos are lessjinos than the fine folk of the big 
towns. In their cultural standards the intermediate position 
of the senoritos of Alcald, devolving from their dual association 
with the pueblo and with the upper class of the province, is 
manifest. Within the pueblo they tend to conform to the 
cultural standards of the pueblo, which are limited in 
material matters such as housing and food and which in 
matters of dress, or recreations, offer them no incentive to 
differentiate themselves. When they go away, on the other 
hand, they tend to conform to the standards of those whom 
they regard as their equals. 

When the word pueblo is used it means all those who be 
long to the pueblo except where it is used in juxtaposition to 
the senoritos. When there is an assembly all the pueblo 
including the senoritos are there by right. There are no recrea 
tional societies, no associations 1 which have membership, 
no formalised groups. The cafes and bars tend to have their 
clientele but they are by no means exclusive, and if a customer 
is habitual it is because of convenience of location, taste for 
the company or for the particular wine sold there. During 
the festivals the mayor and his friends make a point of holding 
their reunions in a different establishment each time in order 
that the profits of the occasion shall not go all into one 
pocket. The need to form exclusive groups is not felt, and 
indeed such a segmentation would run contrary to their 
feeling of what the pueblo is. Co-membership of the pueblo 
provides an adequate basis for social relations with any other 
member. Other than that accorded to the "authorities" 
there is no precedence, overt or tacit, of the nature of status. 
In the processions the children go first, followed by the 
women, rich and poor intermingled without distinction. The 
authorities follow the priest, though without any determined 

i There were political parties before the Civil War, but they cannot be said 
within the pueblo to have corresponded to status groups. An exception is the 
casino, whose relationship to the ruling group differentiates it from the pueblo 
(plebs). The religious societies are in no sense corporate groups. They never 


order. The men follow. There are no fixed places in church. 
Where the pueblo divides up, it divides along the lines of 
sex and age-differentiation only. 

There is one exception to this. Upon a certain day in the 
year the pueblo differentiates itself geographically into 
the upper half of the town and the lower half. This day is the 
Monday of Our Lady of Carmen which is celebrated by a 
bull-festival 1 A bull is let out into the streets with a long rope 
tied to its horns, and the young men of the pueblo run in 
front of it showing off their bravery. A group of youths clings 
to the far end of the rope, making it fast to the iron bars of 
the windows, so that when the bull turns and charges them 
they can escape by fleeing into the house or by climbing 
clear of his horns. A traditional rivalry exists in this connec 
tion between the young men of the two halves of the town, 
which is demonstrated in the endeavours of each faction to 
take the bull to its quarter and keep it there as long as possible. 
The two factions are called "Jopones" and "Jopiches", the 
exaggerative and the diminutive of the wozdjopo meaning a 
tail. The Jopones are those of the upper town and pride them 
selves on being tougher than the Jopiches, perhaps because 
of the greater number of shepherds among them who are 
supposed to be rougher than the rest, perhaps because the 
majority of the senoritos live in the lower town. The distinc 
tion does not correspond to any clear division. For though 
th^re is an implication that it was once based upon the 
rivalry between the rich quarter and the poor quarter and 
in the centre of the poor quarter was the Asamblea, the tradi 
tional meeting-place of the workers rivalry itself implies a 
relationship of equality, and an account of the festival 
written at the end of the last century indicates that difference 
in wealth between the two quarters was not significant. The 
antagonism between the two quarters once extended into 
everyday life, and the struggle for possession of the bull may 
be supposed to have grown up during the period when feeling 
was most violent. The terms are still used today to describe a 
person of one quarter or the other, but, save among the 

i "Un toro a la cuerda." A similar festival took place until recently and in a 
number of other Spanish pueblos. Louis Dumont, La Tarasque (Paris, 1951), 
p. 195, describes a similar festival in Tarascon, France. 


children, the rivalry is gone. The pueblo is much smaller 
than it was formerly, and the antagonism never possessed 
anything like the seriousness of inter-pueblo feeling. 

Geographical proximity, neighbourhood, is the principle 
according to which fission takes place because it is the prin 
ciple on which integration is based. There is no ec corporate 
consciousness" attaching today to any unit smaller than the 
pueblo. Many facts are related to this truth. Here one only 
will be mentioned. Apart from the economic instability 
which is endemic, the inheritance law makes it impossible 
for the family's standard of wealth to be maintained with any 
regularity by the children. The economic unit breaks up on 
the death of the father if there are more than a few children, 
so that the family cannot be said to possess much permanency 
as a property-owning institution. (The senoritos^ in that 
standards of class are here involved, face the greatest difficulty 
with regards this problem. Their families are noticeably 
smaller than the farmers 3 .) A certain amount of marriage 
takes place between farmers 3 families with the motive of 
maintaining property, but they show little sign of developing 
a corporate consciousness. They feel superior, but only on 
account of their wealth personally superior to those who 
are less wealthy, but the comment of one person on another 
is never related to class, because the conception of superiority 
derived from membership of a class does not exist in the 

At the same time there are possibilities that children of 
the pueblo will acquire superior status. The two daughters of 
one not very large farmer go to school at a convent in Ronda 
where the children ofsenoritos go. They are his only children. 
The son of one very small farmer is being educated for the 
priesthood. Attempts were made to find a patron for the clever 
young boy of a miller so that he could have further education. 
There is a very intelligent young man who owns a herd of 
goats with his brother but hopes to make a career for himself 
in the police. A change of status, as opposed to making 
money, whatever the means, involves leaving the pueblo and 
seeking a place in the wider society of Spain. Many have 
succeeded in this as the pages of Spanish history will testify, 
but many fail. And among the failures must be counted those, 


not to be found in pueblos such as Alcala, whose fidelity to 
their ambitions is maintained even after its economic founda 
tions have collapsed. The gentleman, too proud for manual 
work and too poor to eat, dates from at least as far back as 
Cervantes. l 

This description has been written so far from the point of 
view of the pueblo (plebs) . Seen from that of the senoritos of 
the pueblo it is a different picture. It has been shown that on 
one side they are part of the pueblo and on the other they are 
not. The world to which this second side belongs is far more 
attractive to them, and that is why many have gone to live 
in the big towns where social life has more to offer a person 
who has money to spend. Where the forces of the pueblo do 
not operate, attitudes of "competitive class feeling" emerge. 
Display begins to take on the function of social differentia 
tion. The summer visitors are mostly aware of their superior 
social status or of a status which they themselves feel to be 
superior to the leading families of Alcald. They are richer, 
they live in more important places, they take a holiday for 
the summer. c< There are only", one of them said, "three 
families of this pueblo whom you could call 'society'." 

At this level a word makes its appearance whose meaning 
is not understood by the majority of the pueblo cum it 
means socially pretentious, affecting a refinement (and there 
by claiming a social status) which one cannot justify. This 
word is the weapon with which the upper-class families of 
Spain have, during the last century, defended themselves 
against the claim to equal status of those whom they re 
garded as their inferiors. The social setting where this word 
appears exhibits resemblances to the " open-class structures" 
described by modern American sociologists; appearance 
kept up at great cost in order to qualify for a social status 
which can barely be afforded. Pio Baroja, in Las noches del 
buen retirO) describes a Madrid family who shut up their house 
in the summer in order that people should think they had 
gone on holiday. Yet even though resemblances exist it 

l This "social mobility" is expressed in an Andalusian saying: 
"el, tendero "He a shop-keeper 

el hijo caballero His son a gentleman 

el nicto pordiosero." His grandson a beggar." 


would be a mistake to assume that the systems are identical 
and that the feelings and motives of the middle classes of 
Andalusia are the same as those of any other part of the 
world. We are not concerned here to fit the data provided by 
Alcala into the definitions derived from the study of other 
societies, but rather to formulate our own principles of social 
structure which shall have validity here, and these can only 
be discovered by considering matters such as status within 
the totality of human relations. Without an examination of 
the reciprocal interaction of the members of the different 
status levels and how they combine within the same society, 
the nature of the system necessarily remains obscure, and so 
far only the outward characteristics of status and social class 
have been discussed. 1 In order to define the relationship of 
pueblo to senoritos in structural terms, it will be necessary 
first to examine the categories of sex and age which cross-cut 
the distinctions of status, and then to describe the political 
structure of the community. 

The title Don is not given to young men, I have said, and 
the title Senor is given only to the elderly. Middle-class 
society tends to use the title Don towards its elderly and 
respectable members in the same way as the pueblo uses 
Senor , but the two forms of address are not otherwise similar. 
Yet both are expressions of respect. Respect, however, is 
shown in a diversity of situations and must first of all, if all 
the uses of these titles are to be explained, be distinguished 
as "respect for undefined standing" and "respect for 
superior standing". Undefined standing demands respect 
since it is potentially superior standing. Hence the official use 
of Don. The unknown person is called Senor and is referred to 
as "Senor So-and-so" because his standing is not recognised 

1 Cf. T. H. Marshall, op. cit., examines the cuirent definitions of social class 
and concludes (p. 106) : "I prefer to stress the institutional character of classes 
and to think in terms of a force rather than of groups." 

It is perhaps a mistake, in any case, to attempt to formulate a definition of 
social class which shall have validity in any society, since only in relation to the 
total social system does a social class come to possess its particular characteristics. 
Put more precisely, the institutions of a society are functions of the total social 
structure. A biology which sought to furnish a definition of the foreleg which 
would be equally valid for the horse and for the lobster is obviously absurd. In 
sociology such methodological errors ar less apparent. 

P.S. 6 


by both speaker and listener. The title might be said to 
express the "social distance" dependent on the status of 
stranger. Since each is stranger to the other the title is used 
reciprocally. " Formal language " is everywhere respectful be 
cause it aims at maintaining, or establishing, this kind of 
social distance. One can see, then, that social distance in 
dicated by the form of address Senor may be related to: 

(a] Non-membership of the category formed by acquain 
tanceship, by means of which status is recognised. 

(V) Superior social status, as to employer or senorito. 

(c) Superior standing in the hierarchy of age, the child- 
adult relationship or the adult-elder relationship. 

It is a commonplace of social anthropology that full adult 
standing is only attained with marriage and parenthood. 
Here, the married and unmarried are not separated formally 
on any occasion. Certain activities are thought to be proper 
to unmarried people, but it is common to discover a married 
person among the group, or vice versa. "Standing derived 
from age" is not formalised, and, though marriage certainly 
affects a person's standing, the variation of age at which 
people marry and the existence of bachelors of advanced age 
make any such formalisation impossible. l 

The standing of full adult of the pueblo is no t t superior to 
anyone but the children and youths. Full membership of 
the pueblo entitles to nothing more than equality. Therefore, 
the idiom of manners is generally very informal. Persons of 
both sexes use the second person singular to one another, and 
the respectful third person is reserved only for the parents and 
persons of greater age. 

Respect for the parents is strong, and children always 
address their parents in the third person, save among the 
modern-minded senoritos. Boys do not smoke or drink in the 
presence of their fathers. The respect for the elderly derives 
partly from their similarity with the parents, but also from 
the respect which the younger person paid to the elder when 
he was still a child. If they work together, which necessarily 

i Boys do, in fact, sometimes marry before going to do their military service 
though this is not well regarded. Among the sefioritos they must wait until they 
have finished their * ' career ' ' , i.e. the s tudies for it, before they think of marriage. 


entails a relationship of equality, then the respect paid to the 
elder tends to disappear. But by the time a man has reached 
full adulthood (around the age of thirty) the parents and 
their contemporaries are verging on retirement. Retirement 
in this community of, traditionally, poor tenant farmers and 
day-labourers means becoming an economic drag on the 
family and an idler who no longer fits directly into the net 
work of reciprocal services, but also a person who is privileged 
not to work. It means on the one hand a fall in practical 
importance, and on the other, the attainment of the state of 
fulfilment for which his life has been lived. These old men 
and women who have successfully reached elderhood and 
have retained the respect of the pueblo, become the guardians 
of tradition and the old-fashioned ways, and are called 
"Sefior Juan" or <c Sen ? Andr<". Their loss of material 
importance is compensated by a gain in moral importance. 
They incarnate the goal which everyone would reach. 

Status differences are defined, then, by various criteria and 
are appreciated in different ways by different people in 
different situations. Many factors enter into the establishment 
of the degree of prestige necessary in order to be called Don, 
but what is particularly significant for our understanding of 
the nature of status in this society is the importance in 
relation to it of age. This cross-cutting of the status category 
by the age category reveals that social status differentiates a 
persoh from the pueblo, not from birth, not even when he 
reaches manhood, but when he reaches the age to play an 
effective part in the affairs of the pueblo. The difference be 
tween the quality of respect derived from status in Alcala 
and in the conservative peasantry of northern Europe, in 
western France for example or in western England, is already 
clear to anyone acquainted with the latter. I suggest that 
the quality of respect attached to status deriving from a 
monocratic social structure, such as the feudal system, differs 
from that of Alcala on account of the uniqueness of the 
patrician in the locality. The lord of the manor is a symbol of 
the whole community, the senorito is not. He is not a being 
differentiated by nature and by his unique relationship to the 
community, but only by accomplishments and circumstances. 


The Sexes 
(i) Courting : the values of the Male 

THE CATEGORIES discussed so far have not taken into con 
sideration the dichotomy of the sexes. The analysis of this 
facet of the social structure comprises in the first place the 
institutions and behaviour in which they are differentiated, 
and in the second the institutions and behaviour in which 
they are united. 

As soon as they can talk children become conscious of the 
sex to which they belong. Their membership of one category 
or the other is continually stressed in speech. Their behaviour 
is applauded or condemned by reference to rules expressed in 
generalisations upon the correct conduct for little boys or 
little girls. " Little girls don't do that", "What a pretty little 
boy ! " etc. The identification of the individual child with one 
sex or the other is reinforced at every point by adults who 
see the child not only as he is but also as he will become, a 
man or woman. Children are encouraged from an early age 
to imitate adults of the same sex. The small girl follows the 
mother or elder sister about the house with a small broom in 
her hand while she is still too young to be of any effective 
assistance. At four years old, the little boy may already be 
seen pasturing a piglet which he controls by m'eans of a string 
attached to its hind leg. By the time he is nine he goes out 
with his whip and zdea (sheep-skin) to spend the day pastur 
ing animals. When the child plays in the street it is with a 
group of his own sex. When at six he goes to school it is to a 
boys' or girls' school taught by an adult of his own sex. The 
school in the valley is an exception to this since there is only 
one teacher, but it is a rare exception, for elsewhere the 
schools are all situated in the pueblos. Education, whether in 
school or at home, separates the sexes, for the tasks which the 


child will perform, the norms of behaviour to which it will 
submit, and the values which it will adopt, differ according 
to sex. Most tasks are the prerogative either of man or of 
woman, and there are few examples of persons who undertake 
those considered to be proper to the other sex. The only 
occupation which is pursued equally by both sexes is that of 

The role of women, as in all societies, centres upon the 
home. All work to do with the home, the care of children 
and clothes is theirs. Of the animals, only chickens and 
rabbits fall within their province. Girls may sometimes be 
seen pasturing goats, but this is only because the family is 
poor and there is no male child of the appropriate age. The 
matanza, the killing of the household pigs, shows a clear 
differentiation of the roles of the two sexes. It is something of 
a celebration and relatives who no longer form part of the 
household are often present. Some skill and experience is 
required in killing, and, if no member of the family possesses 
it, a son-in-law or uncle, known for his ability in this respect, 
may be invited. This would avoid having to employ a pro 
fessional ec matador" (meaning in this instance, "pig-killer", 
not bullfighter) . The men prepare the patio, light fires to 
heat the water, rig up the sling, catch the pig, hold it down 
upon the table, and the matador cuts its throat. The blood is 
collected in a basin which it is the task or privilege of the lady 
of the house to hold and stir. When the pig is dead, the men 
clean the hair and dirt off with scrapers, while the women 
serve them, pouring the boiling water on to the carcass. The 
men then sling the animal up by its hind legs, and the 
matador butchers it. The role of the men ends when they 
have borne the meat into the house. There the women clean 
it and make sausages and prepare the meat in other ways. 
The men perform one other task, the preparation of the 
hams. Though this is not clearly defined as men's work, it 
requires a certain amount of knowledge, and the matador 
supervises the pressing of the veins in order to extract the 
blood. If this is not done properly, the hams will go bad. The 
hams are the most valuable part of the pig and are sold for 
money, though one may be kept for the use of the household. 
The money recovered in this way serves to finance the next 


year's pigs. This division of labour is not governed by any 
recognised rules ; indeed, any attempt to discover a formu 
lated role of conduct meets here with the response, all too 
frequent in this society: "Each one does as he thinks fit", or 
"Each family has its way of doing it" "Gada pais su ley y 
cada casa sus costumbres", the saying goes ("Each country 
has its law and each house its customs 55 ). Men's and 
women's tasks devolve "naturally" from the conception 
which people have of what men or women do best. No taboo 
steps in to prevent women from scraping or men from making 
sausages, and they may well be asked to assist in the role 
normally filled by the opposite sex, if another pair of hands is 
needed. They would not thereby be thought to be u effem 
inate" or "unfeminine", it would simply not be expected 
that they do it very well, and, since they have not been 
brought up to do it, the expectation would be justified. 

In Alcald women do not normally work in the fields for 
hire, though it is common in the plains of Andalusia for girls 
and even elderly women to go out in parties to weed upon 
the large farms. They are most commonly seen there working 
separately from the men. It is said that once the women 
worked in the fields in Alcald because there was more work 
than there is today. There are today only four women in 
the pueblo who go out for hired work. On the other hand, it 
is quite frequent for wives or daughters of poor families to 
help in work upon the family plot of land, weeding or 
harvesting, or sowing the seed. Women are most commonly 
seen working in this way in the tenajos, and the spraying and 
harvesting of grapes is mainly women's work. There is one 
form of work, however, in which a great number of women 
take part, and for gain : the olive-harvest. This takes place in 
the autumn when the men are busy ploughing. It is paid as 
piece-work. Teams are formed among families and friends, 
four or five people in each, including children of almost any 
age. One at least must be a man or growing lad, for his role 
is to climb into the trees and beat the branches with a slender 
pole. The women and children collect the olives from, the 

When women desire to make money, either to supplement 
their husband's income or because they have no husband, 


they do so by performing other women's work for them: 
domestic work, sewing, fetching water, looking after chil 
dren ; or by petty trading. 

These generalisations, even were they one hundred per 
cent accurate, would describe a differentiation which is 
purely ideal. The realism of these people quickly admits 
exceptions. Necessity forces people into activities which they 
do not undertake from free choice. There is a girl who works 
with her father and brothers at the heavy work of picking 
esparto grass "as if she were a man". And yet she remains 
in all other ways entirely feminine. "What a shame!" 
people say, "for she is a pretty girl and look at her hands 
now. They are like a man's." 

It is not only occupation which differentiates the sexes. In 
recreation the same dichotomy is maintained. Women do not 
go into cafes but stay in their houses where they visit one 
another. Women do not smoke. The rich people of the big 
towns differ from them in these ways, and the families of the 
senoritos once again demonstrate their intermediate position. 
Though they are never seen smoking, they will on feast-days 
make up parties of both sexes at a table outside the casino. 
For the women of the pueblo the shops, the fountains and 
above all the wash-house or the stream-bank, where washing 
is also done, are meeting-places, so that being in the pueblo 
all day they do not have the same incentives for social 
reunion in the evening, quite apart from the household duties 
which attend them on the return of their menfolk from work. 
The extreme cleanliness in regard to clothing, which is 
characteristic of Andalusia, is not unrelated to the need for 
someone from each household to go daily to the wash-house, 
if the family is to keep well informed upon the issues of the 

In relation to religion the sexes are again separated. In 
festive processions they walk apart. The funeral is followed 
normally only by the menfolk once it leaves the church The 
seating in the church reflects the same division. Men, un 
accompanied by their wives, stand at the back, while the 
women and those who stay beside their family, sit on the 
seats in front. Some men prefer to remain apart from their 
womenfolk and to stand with their own sex at the back. 


A spirit of solidarity exists between persons of the same 
sex in the face of the other, which is illustrated in the sympa 
thetic attitude of women towards a woman whose husband 
causes her distress or among men whose employer, a lady, is 
difficult. Generalisations of a critical nature concerning the 
opposite sex are often made when persons of one sex are 
gathered together, or in mixed gatherings when someone 
wishes to adopt a tone of humorous raillery towards the other 

The behaviour of the unmarried people during the evening 
paseo (stroll) accentuates the solidarity of the sexes, though 
not in such a way that can easily be reduced to generalisation. 
Groups of up to five or six girls walk together with arms 
linked. The boys eye them as they pass or walk in twos and 
threes behind them. Sometimes a boy is attached to the end 
of the line of girls by virtue of a specific relationship to one 
of the girls, brother or fianoi But in general, fiances walk by 
themselves in pairs on the road at the entrance to the town. 

Yet this solidarity does not exclude either quarrelling or 
fighting among themselves. Occasional fights among women 
break out, usually at the fountains where, particularly in the 
summer when the water supply is less plentiful, it may be 
necessary to wait for some time in order to fill a pitcher. 1 
Fights cannot take place between the sexes, except of course 
within the institution of marriage, though quarrelling occurs 
over money and business. When Diego Perez' aparcera, a 
woman who owned two hectares of cultivable land, de 
faulted on her obligations, he took her to law. Had it been a 
man he would, he asserted, have beaten him up instead. 

There are few situations in which persons of different sexes 
collaborate outside the family. A good deal of chaff passes 
where groups of young people of opposite sex confront one 
another, but there is no camaraderie. Friendship is essentially 
a relationship between persons of the same sex. So, a man 
visiting a friend on a farm may often be seen to shake hands 
with the male members of the family and not with the 

i The fights arise over the order or precedence which is "first come, first 
served" unless a person renounces her right, yet it is typical that people in this 
society seldom form queues ; they are far too much alive to the presence of 
others to need such a demonstrative method of maintaining the order. 


female. For to do so might be to demand an intimacy with 
the family which he did not possess. 

The only person whose position in relation to the sexual 
dichotomy is somewhat mitigated is the elderly woman. 
When past the age of sexual attraction her behaviour tends 
to become freer with regards the other sex. Widowhood 
brings, for the first time, full legal and economic responsibility 
as well as the greater influence which she enjoys within the 
family. Her role in business is more active, though she is not 
in general reckoned by men to be any good at it. The word 
viuda (widow) is common in the titles of business enterprises 
in Andalusia. At this age a dominance formerly dormant is 
apt to appear. There was even one old woman who used once 
to play cards and drink wine with the men in the caf<6. She 
was considered eccentric and disgraceful, but nothing was 
done to prevent her. 

To attempt to define the standards of behaviour between 
the sexes in terms of prohibitions and obligations would be 
difficult. Conversation is free and no subject is taboo, pro 
vided it is not discussed indelicately in the presence of the 
opposite sex. The restraints in behaviour proceed from 
the conceptions which the situation bring into play. In the 
organisation of conduct, not only in situations where a 
member of the opposite sex is present, a primordial impor 
tance attaches to the ideal types of either sex. It would be 
tedious to attempt to enumerate the moral qualities attach 
ing to manliness or womanliness for in general they are the 
same as in our own traditional culture: "Knights are bold 
and ladies are fair. 5 ' Courage and strength are emphasised 
as male attributes. Beauty and frailty are for women. The 
saying: "El hombre como el oso, mientras mas feo mas 
hermoso" ("Man like the bear, the uglier the handsomer") 
expresses this aspect of manliness, while the grace of the 
women in carriage and gesture reveals the value which is 
given to delicacy and beauty in the feminine ideal. The fact 
that moral judgements are expressed in terms of beauty and 
ugliness, the idiom of the feminine ideal, is a point whose 
significance will be brought out later. 

The quintessence of manliness is fearlessness, readiness to 
defend one's own pride and that of one's family. It is ascribed 


directly to a physical origin and the idiom in which it is 
expressed is frankly physiological. To be manly is to have 
co jones (testicles), and the farmyard furnishes its testimony 
in support of the theory. Castrated animals are manso (tame), 
a castrated ox is not dangerous like a bull. A castrated dog, 
it is thought, will always run away from an uncastrated one. 
A man who fails to show fearlessness is lacking in manliness 
and, by analogy, castrated or manso. While it is not supposed 
that he is literally devoid of the male physiological attributes, 
he is, figuratively, so. That part of his person does not possess 
the moral qualities properly associated with it. 

The bullfight is an occasion when the full figurative force 
of this conception is displayed. The bull which is manso is 
booed from the ring. The dead bull which has shown courage 
is applauded as his carcass is dragged out. The bullfighter, 
even though he may be lacking in skill and grace, is not 
despised as long as he is still able to show that he has valour. 
Yet if he fails or fears to kill the bull he is utterly disgraced. 
For the essence of the bullfight is the ritual revindication of 
manliness and if this value is debased then the whole human 
species is defiled. The virility of the bull has not passed into 
its slayer. The champion who took the ring to redeem 
through his bravery the sacred quality of male pride has 
failed and the crowd greets him with contemptuous fury. 

The terms relating to this conception are heard not only 
in the bullring but continually in everyday life. Thus, for 
example, in a quarrel concerning water-rights, one hortelano 
(garden-cultivator) said to the other, who had given him 
offence by repeatedly failing to relinquish the water at the 
appointed hour : 

"Estare en el ca'o a la hora de cortar y si tienes cojones 
ven." (" When the hour comes to cut off your water and send 
it down to my kuerta I shall cut it off myself [the place where 
the water is changed lies inside the other hortelano" s huertd\ and 
try to stop me if you dare!" Literally: "If thou hast cojones, 
come! 35 It is a challenge to fight The implication is that 
if the other does not come, it is either that his antagonist 
is right and he admits that he must cut off his water at that 
hour, or alternatively that he has no cojones , that is to say that 
he is lacking in the full social personality of an adult male, 


and is a person who can be overridden with impunity. In 
fact, by the time the challenge is issued there is already a 
dispute of some standing. The challenge is intended to settle 
the question of water-rights neither by law, nor by an appeal 
to force, for it settles nothing if the other hortelano comes and 
they fight. To be beaten in a fight does not prove lack of 
courage (any more than the bullfighter is disgraced if he is 
carried wounded from the ring. He is only disgraced if he is 
physically able, but lacks the courage, to kill the bull). The 
challenge is intended to settle the matter, because the 
hortelano stakes his social personality on the issue. The other 
man knows that he is in the wrong in fact and under those 
conditions he will not come, for if there is a fight the matter 
is likely to be brought before the law and his fault will be 
displayed; but having failed to come, he cannot then con 
tinue to steal his neighbour's water without admitting that 
he lacks manliness and was too frightened to uphold his 
rights openly, that he is a sneak-thief. The challenge served 
therefore to force a renunciation from the other hortelano of 
his claim. The social significance of the conception in relation 
to the political structure and a later chapter will discuss 
this resides in this: that a man who loses his manliness, 
forfeits his standing as a full adult male and through this 
loss of prestige he loses his value in the system of co-operation. 

The word which serves literally to translate manliness 
(hombria) also contributes to the same conception : 

"The modern race is degenerate/' said a friend once, "in 
the days of our grandfathers there was more manliness than 
today." To be "muy hombre" is to have an abundance of 
that moral quality which we have been discussing, and, 
through it, to command the respect of one's fellows. 

Other words which might be discussed if the length of this 
chapter permitted are : soberbia and orgullo which express the 
idea of excessive self-regard, and amorpropio and honor which 
are intimately connected with manliness. Pundonoroso (meticu 
lous as regards honour) is a popular epithet for bullfighters. 

Clearly, such a conceptual evaluation of sexual virility 
leads to a certain proclivity to justify manliness literally, and 
the moral precepts taught in education tend to be out 
weighed by the desire for such justification. Success with 


women is a powerful gratification to the self-esteem of the 
Andalusian. The appreciation of feminine beauty and the 
attitude of ready courtship which it inspires are expressed 
in the piropo, a word which means literally a ruby and also 
means a compliment paid to a lady. It is a tribute paid 
disinterestedly to one whose presence is a source of joy and, 
theoretically at any rate, without any ulterior motive. It may 
be paid publicly to an unknown lady as she passes down the 
street, for it requires no response from her, and the freedom 
and charm of such a custom has done much to recommend 
the cities of Andalusia to the pretty tourist. Opportunities 
for this kind ofpiropo barely exist in the pueblo where every 
one is known, but an appreciation of feminine attractiveness 
is nevertheless not scant in Alcala. The restraints upon the 
sexually aggressive behaviour of men derive, it appears, from 
sanctions of a social nature rather than from the prohibitions 
of the individual conscience. However, before considering 
them we do well to turn to the institutions and behaviour in 
which the sexes are united. 

There are situations in everyday life in which the category 
of sex is overruled by the categories of age or social status. 
The respect due to age or official position may go far, to 
obliterate the significance of the criterion of sex in a specific 
situation. The employees must obey the employer. The 
patients must visit the doctor. Persons of different sex are 
grouped together in juxtaposition to a person distinguished 
from them by another category. But we are concerned here 
to examine the relations between the sexes in situations 
where the difference of sex is prerequisite to the relationship 
of the participants. 

The only institution which binds the sexes together is the 
family. Primarily through marriage, but also through all the 
relationships established by it. The form of the individual 
family is continually changing in time, but we may take as 
its starting-point the moment when the young person 
abandons the companionship of his own sex and family, and 
seeks to establish an individual relationship with a person of 
the opposite sex and another family. 

As the children grow up through adolescence the segrega- 


tion of the sexes takes a new turn. The interest in the opposite 
sex, unrelated hitherto to structural issues, begins to offer the 
possibility of a lasting attachment which will alter the 
standing of the couple radically. The boy deserts the "dirty- 
story-telling" group of his fellows to go courting his girl. 
Typically, the farming families of the valley, in contrast to 
wealthier families of the pueblo, tend to form attachments of 
a serious nature as early as fifteen to eighteen years, and to 
regard each other thenceforward as novios (sweethearts), in 
all the structural implications of the term. Novios are boy and 
girl who will eventually be man and wife. The noviazgo 
(courtship) is the prelude to the foundation of the family. It 
is characteristically long in this society, always of a few years' 
duration, though the length depends on the age of the parti 
cipants and also on their economic position. Yet it should not 
be regarded as a time of delay necessary for the establishment 
of the economic foundations of the family, though it fulfils 
that function. It is, rather, a steadily developing relationship 
which ends in marriage. The degrees of seriousness which 
attach to the term and give it at times a certain ambiguity 
derive from the fact that it covers all the stages of courtship 
from acquaintance to marriage. The dog which deserts the 
farm at night in search of a bitch is said to go "buscando la 
novia" ("searching for a novia") and the word may even be 
used as a euphemism for a married person's lover. But the 
term does not imply sexual intimacy when referring to 
an established relationship between boy and girl. It is 
thought proper to "respect" the woman who will be your 

The first step in the formation of this relationship is made 
when two young people leave the group in order to talk to 
one another alone. They sit together or go for a walk apart 
at some reunion, and this establishes a tentative beginning. 
If this behaviour recurs then people say that they are "talking 
to one another". The expression is important for it sums up 
an aspect of the noviazgo. It covers all the period of informal 
relations, extending from the first stage up till the "demand 
for the hand". During this time the relationship deepens but 
it is not yet irrevocable. Andr6s V., speaking of his former 
novia said : "I spoke with her for twelve years and at the end 


she turned out a whore." This period of twelve years was 
exceptionally long owing to the fecklessness of the speaker 
and his inability to follow with one job for any length of time. 
When finally it became evident that he would not marry her, 
he laid the blame on her. 

The idea of this talking together is that the novios get to 
know each other really well. The swiftness of the men to enter 
a sexual relationship of no structural importance contrasts 
with the care and delay with which they enter into matri 
mony. But the nature of this talk, though it inevitably varies, 
has a particular quality associated with courtship and which 
serves to forward the purpose of that institution. Its purpose 
is to bind the emotions of each to the other so securely that 
the attachment will last a lifetime. The word camelar expresses 
this kind of talk. It means and it is above all the man who 
does the talking " to compliment", "to show gallantry to", 
"to cause to fall in love". It is subsumed that adulation is 
what causes people to fall in love, and this theory is found in 
the secondary meaning of the word: "to deceive with 
adulation". In this way the nominal form camelo comes in 
the end to mean: "nonsense", "line-shooting", "a tall 
story", "a tale which no one but a fool would be taken in 
by". It is generally asserted that the essential attribute for 
success with women is knowledge of how to talk to them. The 
Don Juan must know how to deceive women with words. 
However, in the case of courtship, this knowledge is put to 
the service of matrimony. Love is an essential to a happy 
marriage. And this is not only the opinion of romantic 
senoritas. Andres el Bano, a hardheaded and intelligent small 
farmer says: "You can see clearly which marriages were 
made for money. They spend their whole lives quarrelling. 
Sensible people marry for love." "How is a man to spend all 
his life working for a woman if he has no c illusion' about 
her?" For it is admitted that love is an illusion to fall out 
of love is "quitarse la ilusi6n" ("to lose one's illusion"). 
But in marriage it is a necessary illusion. Each person knows 
that he or she is not in fact the most wonderful person in the 
world, but through camelos one can be made to feel it and to 
feel the same about the other. The attachment formed by 
this mutually inspired self-esteem bridges the gulf of sex- 


differentiation and forms the bond on which the family is 
built, i 

Courting takes place traditionally, in Andalusia, at the 
reja (the grill which covers every window), and sentimental 
numbers in the music-halls and the romantic postcards sold 
on news-stalls portray a novio so ardent that only iron bars 
can safeguard the purity of his love. The reality is less 
theatrical, of course. In summer the novios can go for walks 
together in the immediate vicinity of the town. To stray too 
far, to be out after dark, excites suspicious comment in the 
pueblo. Men who work and are away until dusk must do 
their courting after nightfall, and upon Thursdays and Sun 
days, the days for courting, boys will walk five or six miles, 
even after the day's work, in order to keep a rendezvous with 
a girl. Courting takes place at the girl's home. In Alcala the 
doorway is used rather than the window. The visiting novio 
stands on the threshold to talk to his girl while she stands 
within. The girl's family pay no attention to the couple. If 
the father comes out he pretends not to notice the novio. 
Formerly it was considered an affront to the father to be seen 
by him courting his daughter, the suitor would retire while 
the father was in sight, but today he separates slightly from 
the girl and lets go her hand. To hold hands is considered 
proper behaviour for novios, save in the presence of a member 
of her family. 

When the couple decide to get married, the novio makes a 
formal call upon the father of his novia in order to ask for her 
hand. His mother calls upon her mother. The girl's father is 
supposed not to answer but finally to allow himself to be 
persuaded by her mother. When the request is granted the 
young man hands over a sum of money 2 to the girl with 
which she is to buy the requirements and furniture of the 
house, and the wedding day is fixed usually for a date three 
or four months ahead. The noviazgo then enters upon its final 
stage and although it remains theoretically repudiable, it 
would by now be extremely difficult for the novio to escape. 

1 The word "ilusidn" is also used with conscious cynicism as a euphemism 
for "lust". 

2 In the case of farming families working as a centralised economic unit the 
money is provided by the parents. This fact certainly contributes to the length 
of courtships in the valley. 


The parents have been brought in who will become linked in 
the relationship of consuegro (co-parent-in-law). The money 
has been paid. From that moment onwards the marriage is 
assured. But until the demand for the hand the ties which 
bind the two together are purely personal. The longer an 
engagement lasts the stronger becomes the obligation to 
marry, the worse a repudiation would appear if there were 
no excuse for it but faithlessness. The danger is above all one 
for the girl, because once a long engagement is broken off it 
may not be easy for her to find a second suitor. The girl who 
has had other novios is not sought after in the same way, for 
the pride of the second novio must, to a greater or lesser 
extent, be sacrificed if he is to follow in the footsteps of 
another. If his novia were not a virgin it would make him a 
retrospective cuckold, but even if this is not believed, she 
would nevertheless be a less attractive proposition than 
previously. Girls whose first engagement is broken off tend 
to marry less easily subsequently. 

It can be seen, then, that a girl of, say, twenty-five, whose 
engagement falls through after a long courtship is in a 
difficult position. If she has beauty or the prospect of in 
heritance, she will have no difficulty in finding a new novio. 
But if not, then she may have missed her opportunity. Andres 
V/s novia remained a spinster. The moral feelings of the 
pueblo supply a powerful sanction against such faithlessness, 
for it involves the other members of both families. But 
noviazgos are in danger above all when boys go to work 
elsewhere for a time, and thereby escape the sanctions of the 
pueblo. They sometimes do not return but break with the 
novia of their home town and marry in the place where they 
are working, where they may never admit having had a 
previous novia, and where in any case the matter will have 
little importance. 

Faced with this danger for which, should it materialise, the 
society offers no redress, it is not surprising to find the super 
natural coming into play. There is a wealth of folklore which 
relates to finding and holding novios 9 and much of the practice 
of ihtsabia (wise woman) is devoted to resolving this problem. 
The girl whose novio begins to look at other girls with interest, 
visits her less regularly or writes to her less frequently, in 


short, gives her reason to believe that her hold over him is 
weakening, may go to the sabia. For the sabia has power to 
discover whether he still loves her or not, and is also able to 
perform love-magic in order to secure his constancy. She 
uses her love-magic, in this context, in support of the social 
order. The love-magic which she is able to do for men is 
thought to be employed for a more sinister purpose, which 
will be discussed in Chapter XII. 

p.s. 7 


The Sexes 
(ii) Marriage and the Family 

THE NATURE of the relationship established in courtship 
changes fundamentally with marriage. Here ends the free, 
personal, purely emotional bond. Marriage is part of the 
overt structure of the community. Ties are created not only 
between the novios but between persons who were previously 
linked by no more than common membership of the pueblo, 
if by that. Other ties are weakened by the formation of these 
new ones. A new pattern of social relations emerges. The 
system of naming serves well as an introduction to the 
structure of the family. 

The young woman adds her husband's patronym to her 
own names. Let us say that he is : Manuel Castro Barea,' and 
she: Ana Ruiz Menacho. Then she becomes: Senora de 
Castro, or (her official form of address) Senora Dona Ana 
Ruiz Menacho de Castro. The pueblo will continue to call 
her Ana Ruiz without her husband's patronym. 

The dual surnames are composed of the patronym of the 
paternal and maternal grandfathers. In the same way, the 
children of this marriage will bear the surnames Castro Ruiz. 

Within the pueblo, but not among the families of the 
senoritos, the children will be given Christian names in accord 
ance with those of the grandparents ; so that if Manuel Castro 
Barea is the son of Andres Castro and Maria Barea, then the 
first child of each sex will be named (after the paternal 
grandparents) Andres and Maria. The second child of each 
sex will be named after its mother's parents. The grand 
children are regarded as the descendants of one pair of 
grandparents as much as of the other, and this accords 
logically with the fact that they will have an equal claim 
upon the inheritance of both. 


The law regards the family formed by this marriage as a 
single unit with, in many aspects, a single legal personality. 1 
The wife becomes subject to her husband's tutelage, for in 
the eyes of the law he is the representative of this single 
personality. The wife, if she is over twenty-one years of age, 
will have become vecina (neighbour) of the pueblo. On her 
marriage she ceases to be so but becomes instead casada, the 
wife of a vecino. She also loses the right to control her worldly 
property, though she can prevent her husband, who ad 
ministers it as he wishes, from disposing of it. Yet she cannot 
buy or sell property without his consent. The property of 
both is regarded as a single unit which the husband controls. 

Neither are likely to have any property from the parents 
while the latter are still active, though the new couple may 
be given charge of a farm or mill belonging to one of the 
parents. If any dowry is given, which is rare, it represents 
either an advance of the share of inheritance of the girl's 
parents, or a free gift on their part which they can only make 
from the property which they have acquired otherwise than 
through inheritance. As a general rule property does not 
pass until death. 

The people of Alcald feel very strongly that every family 
should possess its own house, and to marry without setting 
up a separate home is regarded as a make-shift arrangement. 
The poorer people are the more insistent upon this need for 
independence, and the economic advantages which might 
accrue from forming a larger family unit are offset by the 
desire to be free of the tensions which make family life im 
possible where there is more than one family in a house. 
"Cada uno en su casa" ("Each one in his own house") that 
is the only way to live peacefully. "Casada casa quiere" 
("housewife wants house"), the saying rubs in the point. 
For while a joint family might collaborate in spending 
money, they cannot collaborate in making it, where each 
man's income derives from a daily wage. The husband must 
rent a house for his bride, and with the housing situation as 
at present it is not an impossibility even for the landless day- 
labourer. On the farms of the valley where family relation 
ships are made clearer by geographical distance and 

i Viz. Civil Code, Title IV, Chapters I and II. 


conservative tendencies, it can be seen that the marriage of a 
child of either sex involves, or should involve, his withdrawal 
from the family unit. The modern custom, followed only by 
some is for parents to pay the sons who work upon their farm 
a daily wage once they are fully grown up, in order that they 
may start to prepare to found a family. But on some of the 
farms they keep the family finances integrated until a son 
marries, when he must have his daily wage to keep his wife. 
He may keep her in the pueblo in a house of his own (rarely 
in the parents 3 house even though they seldom go there) while 
he goes down to the valley every day to work. He may set up 
house in the valley or even build a house there, or he may 
also bring her to live with his parents or, more frequently, go 
himself to live with and work for hers. He may work for her 
parents and keep her in a house in the pueblo. 

An old tradition of the farmers, followed by few nowadays, 
ordains that the elderly parents keep the daughter,, or 
daughter-in-law to live with them for the first year of her 
marriage. In one family where this is followed, the son works 
elsewhere and visits his parents 5 farm on Sundays to see his 
wife. At the same time the farm is worked by a son-in-law, 
the husband of an elder daughter who has a large family andi 
lives in the pueblo. So that the elderly parents live on the 
farm with one son-in-law and one daughter-in-law while 
their seven children all live elsewhere. Living with the old 
people there is also one grandson, the son of the son-in-law, 
and a boy-employee of fourteen years. The object of keeping 
the daughter or daughter-in-law with the parents is to assist 
the newly married couple to set up a home, for in this way 
all the husband's pay can be saved. The wife lives for nothing 
with the old people and in return she does the housework and 
looks after them. This arrangement is clearly only possible 
while she has no children of her own, and this may explain 
why it is an arrangement for the first year of marriage only. 

In general, sons-in-law get on well with their wife's 
parents, and there are several farms where they live and are 
employed in preference to a son. The virtual avoidance be 
tween father- and son-in-law while the girl is courted ends 
with marriage, and gives way to an easier relationship than 
that of the father with his own sons, who must preserve 


a stricter respect for him than must his sons-in-law. The 
daughter-in-law, on the other hand, very seldom gets on well 
with her husband's parents once she has a family of her own ; 
and even before that her relationship is always formal and 
somewhat frigid. She is a virtual stranger to his parents when 
the son marries her, for she has remained with her parents 
while her novio came to court her at their house. Little by 
little, he has adapted himself to the ways of her parents' 
house. He has made friends with her brothers. 1 After the 
demand for her hand the avoidance of the father has lapsed 
and he has been invited into her house. She has had no such 
opportunity to become acquainted with his parents, and 
when she comes to them it is not to ask a favour, but as the 
established wife. Parental love is warm, and it is through her 
that the parental tie is loosened. In such a situation, rivalry 
between a man's wife and his mother for his chief regard 
seldom fails to produce sparks. Living in the same house they 
must collaborate more closely than the men-folk in the fields, 
and for this reason a mother always prefers to have her own 
daughter to work for her who is used to her authority and 
the ways of her house. 

An Andalusian saying points out the tendency to matri- 

"Tu hijo se casa "Your son gets married 
Y pierdes a tu hijo And you lose your son 

Tu hija se casa Your daughter marries 

Y ganas otro." And you get another one." 

In the determination of locality, the moral and legal 
equality of children regardless of their sex, combined with 
the unity of the married couple, create a situation where the 
emotional tensions inherent in family life assert themselves, 
and the identification of the woman with the home overrides 
the principle of patriliny. 2 

1 Not straight away. The father formally ignores him, and for some time he 
is regarded with suspicion by the brothers. The family requires to know whether 
his intentions are serious or not. Antonio, son of Andre's el Bano said of the boy 
who had already courted his sister faithfully for four years : "Hasta ahora se ha 
portado bien con nosotros" ("So far he has behaved well towards us"). But in 
time this suspicion gives way to friendship. 

2 The participation of the maternal grandparents through surname, 
Christian names and property, in the lives of their daughter's children must not 



This pattern of relations is also illustrated in a subsequent 
stage of the evolution of the family. Elderly parents, no 
longer able to work and look after themselves, are dependent 
upon their children to keep them. But it is noticeable that the 
children with whom the parents choose to stay are, in a slight 
majority, daughters rather than sons. It is only surprising 
that the disproportion is not greater, for elderly widowed 
mothers are seldom happy in their daughter-in-law's house. 
This sacred duty which requires poor people who work hard 
to devote part of their income and much of their time to the 
care of aged parents is generally respected, though it is said 
that before the initiation of the old-age pensions scheme old 
people were more often abandoned than today. Dutiful 
children are the insurance against a wretched old age or one 
spent in an institution in another pueblo. Parents who do not 
give their children proper moral "education" will be faced 
in old age with shameless children who neglect them. 
Respect for parents is not based upon authoritarian rule. 
Children are punished very little and are never expected to 
emulate their elders prematurely. They learn through 
imitation and are encouraged much with kisses and applause, 
for the love of children is great here. It is enormously senti 
mental and demonstrative in comparison with that of 
Northern Europeans, and neither mother nor father, brother 
nor sister is ever either stiff or emotionally restrained towards 
them. At the same time, the identity of the child with its 
parents is continually stressed in its relations with other 
youngsters in the pueblo, so that the child's social personality 
is defined in relation to its parents. Children are always 
known as the children of so-and-so. In the advance of age the 
material tie between children and parents grows weaker, but 

be confused with matriliny. It is the mother's patronym which she gives to her 
children, not her matronym. In so far as this society is lineal at all it is patri- 
lineal. The lineal principle, however, is incompatible with the social structure 
of the pueblo and has little importance there. In the tradition of the aristocracy, 
patrilineal descent was, of course, important, and was found together with a 
whole number of structural elements which contrasted with th6se of the pueblo ; 
a monocratic relationship to community through the senorio (lordship) and a 
system of inheritance through the mayorazgo (entailment), which maintained 
the unity of property preferentially in the male line. It is noteworthy, however, 
that the majority of Spanish titles pass through the female line in default of a 
male line in the same degree of kinship. 


the moral tie remains full of vigour. Within a community 
which knows no other principle of grouping, and where other 
relationships tend to be unstable and kinship ties are weak, 
the strength of the family stands out in solitary relief. 

The statement that kinship ties are weak requires to be 
justified. Where kinship is associated with political structure, 
locality or economic production., one is accustomed to find 
that the extensions of the elementary family are endowed 
with structural importance. Enough has already been said 
to make it clear that this is not the case in Alcala. People 
are seldom able to give a comprehensive account of their 
families further than their first cousins. Property alone pro 
vides an incentive to strengthen the ties with persons 
outside the elementary family. 

The law of inheritance greatly influences the structure of 
the family, and the diversity of the traditional laws of inherit 
ance of the different regions of Spain points to an equal 
diversity in their family structure. There is no regional tradi 
tion in Andalusia in the matter of inheritance. Its law is the 
law of Castile. When the property-owner dies his property is 
divided in half. One half is subdivided equally among all his 
children, the other goes to his widow for the duration of her 
life after which it also is divided among the children. During 
the widow's lifetime the division does not often take place, 
but when neither of the parents remain and the grandchildren 
are already fully grown it becomes necessary, in the interests 
of family independence, to make the partition. In fact, the 
way in which the property will be split up is usually fore 
shadowed in the arrangements which are made for its exploita 
tion when the owner becomes too old to control it himself. 
Where the property is composed of several distinct holdings 
they are divided amongst the children, possibly with certain 
monetary adjustments, or with adjustments to the extent of 
the properties. In other instances, however, either it is im 
practical to divide the property or the heirs are unable to 
reach an agreement upon its division. The property then 
remains intact. If the joint owners fail to agree regarding its 
exploitation it is very often sold, so that the price may be di 
vided among them. However, where they agree well enough, 

104 THE 

it is often regarded as preferable to retain the property intact 
in joint ownership and hope that time provides a solution. 
This, it frequently does. The property is run by one or more 
brothers and brothers-in-law on behalf of all. Little by little 
the other participants are bought out and the property re 
mains in a single pair of hands, to face the same problem once 
more in the next generation. Where, for example, a brother 
is tenant in another farm or follows a different occupation 
such as artisan, he is well content to allow this to happen : but 
rivalry is common between brothers and sisters for ultimate 
possession of the inheritance. The joint ownership works well 
enough on occasions, though quarrels regarding its adminis 
tration and profits tend to arise. In the third generation, 
that is to say when members of the second generation start to 
die, the difficulties become too great if they all leave children. 
Before anything can be done, it is necessary to reach agree 
ment in a varied group of uncles and cousins and this is 
neither easy nor is it efficient. At this point people are glad 
to sell their interest and put their money into something else. 
Finally, a solution to the problem of inheritance is provided 
by the marriage of first cousins. Where families are not too 
large, the property is sometimes held together, or rather 
reunited by a marriage in the third generation. There is, 
however, nothing resembling a customary obligation to do 
so, and Andres el Bano, for example, considers that such 
marriages ought not to be allowed. It is rather an arrange 
ment which ambitious parents make in order to avoid having 
to split an inheritance. The number of descendants and the 
nature of the property determine the advantages of such a 
marriage, and where the farm is small and there are many 
grandchildren the advantages of cousin marriage are not 

The relationship of first cousin is an equivocal one. 
Cousins are conscious of belonging to the same family for 
they have common grandparents whose inheritance they 
share, and yet at the same time they are not in any way 
interdependent. There is no specific code of behaviour for 
them. If they are brought up in close contact with one an 
other, then their family association provides the basis for 
firm friendship. But cousinship in itself does not involve any 


rights or obligations. Nevertheless, upon this uncertain 
ground, relations of genuine affection spring up, not only 
between cousins of the same sex but often, stressing member 
ship of a common family, between primo and prima. This 
relationship is what might be called fraternal, but at the 
same time there is no absolute prohibition upon sexual 
relations between persons so related. Such a relationship is 
not incestuous, though marriage between persons so related 
requires a special dispensation. When Jose- Maria Perez took 
his cousin la Castana to Jacinas on the back of his mule he 
claimed to be acting in a spirit of fraternal co-operation, but 
that did not prevent the evil tongues of the valley from 
attributing quite another motive for their journey. The label 
of cousinship is used sometimes to conceal the true nature of a 
relationship. Thus in the parish register a number of entries 
of primo or pariente (kinsman) denote a relationship which is 
nothing of the kind. 

The ambiguity relating to the word primo explains its 
curious slang use. " Foolish or incautious", says the diction 
ary. The sense might best be rendered by the colloquialism 
"mug". The cousin is the prototype of the mug, for he puts 
faith in the strength of kinship ties and is soon deceived. 
"We are all brothers ", quipped a witty fellow to his drinking- 
companions, "but notprimos" 

We can now see cousin-marriage in its true light. It is a 
way to reinforce the disintegrating family unit, and where 
property is involved there is a strong motive to do this. But 
it can also be explained in terms of sentimental affinity. The 
country families are considered slightly odd and unsociable 
by the pueblo a fact which is seen in the exaggerated 
accounts of their lack of education and uncouthness. This 
reason is frequently given as an explanation of cousin- 
marriage. Shy children raised on the farms frequently form 
attachments to their cousins in a way that those raised in the 
hurly-burly of the pueblo do not. Cousin-marriage, though 
not specifically a characteristic of the tenant and owner 
farmers of the valley, is more frequent among them than in 
the pueblo. 

A second type of marriage which possess a certain similar 
ity with cousin-marriage is marriage between pairs of brothers 


and sisters -similarity, that is, in the circumstances which 
favour it. For this type of marriage should be regarded as 
marriage between affines, and just as cousin-marriage can be 
viewed as the desire to strengthen the link between blood-kin, 
so this appears as the desire to strengthen affinal ties. Two 
families united hitherto by a single marriage are thenceforth 
united by two. There are three instances of this in the valley 
and but one in the pueblo itself. 

In summing up, we can see that the lack of mutual rights 
and obligations outside the elementary family, the lack even 
of occasions on which the unity of the extended family is 
expressed, for cousins are not bound to be asked and are 
not always asked to weddings, makes of kinship a facultative 
rather than a firm bond. It is an excellent basis for friend 
ship, but it is not in itself an important element in the struc 
ture of this society. Among the country-dwellers, marriages 
are favoured which reinforce this basis, for they need to co 
operate on a more permanent footing than those of the 
pueblo. One might say that the nature of the exploitation 
of the land in small-holdings produces a tendency to extend 
family ties. Yet in the absence of the institutions and values 
which might support such an extension, ties between kin 
cannot be regarded as important. 

Two relationships remain to be discussed. First of all 
affinal ties. The identity of the matrimonial couple and the 
husband's responsibilities in formal matters bring him into 
very close contact with his brothers-in-law, and one very 
often finds strong friendship between men so related. This is 
not the case with their parents though these are united in a 
relationship which bears a special name, consuegros (co- 
parents-in-law). Parents have, in fact, little influence over 
their children's choice of a spouse. (One might well marry 
to please one's parents, but one could hardly pursue a court 
ship such as I have described in order to please them.) United 
at the ceremonies of marrriage and baptism, and by their 
common relationship to their grandchildren, consuegros are 
equally divided by jealousies in relation to the latter. They 
tend to be formal and mutually critical rather than warm 
with one another. 

Contrasting with the wary and distant relations of the co- 


parents-in-law is the relationship between compadres (co- 
parents literally., meaning co-godparents). Godparents are 
chosen friends of the parents who enter into a formalised 
friendship with them through their marriage or the baptism 
of their children. On the occasion of a marriage, a pair of 
godparents are chosen (padrinos de boda), usually a married 
couple from the close kin of the groom. A married elder 
brother and his wife is the conventional choice. These, 
according to one tradition, are also the godparents of the 
first child (padrinos de bautizo). Those of the second child will 
be chosen from among the relatives of the wife. There are 
many divergent ideas on the choice of padrinos, which need 
not here concern us. The relationship of godparent is a kind 
of spurious kinship involving obligations towards the child 
or in the marriage festivities. The padrinos are responsible for 
the costs. Far more important however, is the relationship 
which it creates between the parents and the godparents. 
This is called the compadrazgo. In order to become compadres., 
either the would-be compadre offers himself or the father 
invites him to be a godparent to his child. It is a bond of 
formal friendship more sacred than any personal tie outside 
the immediate family. Its seriousness is stressed by the fact 
that, in the popular conception but not in the Civil Code, it 
creates an incest taboo you cannot marry your compadre or 
padrino 1 and also by the mode of speech which compadres 
are obliged to adopt in talking to one another. Save when 
they belong to the same elementary family they must use the 
third person, even though they have spoken to one another 
in the second person all their lives. The explanation given 
for this is that "compadres respect one another". This respect 
does not involve a stiff or formal attitude, on the contrary, 
they speak to each other with great ease, but each is under 
the obligation to do for the other whatever he asks of him. 2 
The compadre is an honorary member of the elementary 

1 There are also frivolous derived forms of compadrazgo such as the compadres 
de carnaval, madrina de guerra, between whom marriage is permissible and 

2 Technically, co-parents-in-law (consuegros) are also compadres and address 
each other in the third person, but their relationship is usually very different in 
feeling. People do not refer to their consuegro as my compadre unless the latter 
relationship exists in its own right. 


family, but he is at the same time free of the trammels which 
bring dissension among kin. In the changing kaleidoscope of 
friendship the compadrazgo is an irrevocable tie of mutual 
trust, stronger than that of kinship because it owes its 
existence to the free consent of both parties. A young senorito, 
explaining his quarrel with his married sister, said: "It is 
ridiculous that a man should be bound to people through 
kinship. To your mother and father, yes, you have obliga 
tions, for they have brought you into the world, but what is a 
brother, sister or cousin? I recognise ties with no one save 
the friends of my choice." 

The compadres may or may not be relatives. It is usual for 
the first few children to be baptised by members of the family. 
Very frequently the parents of both husband and wife wish 
to baptise one of their grandchildren, and in this way the 
relationship of father-in-law to son-in-law is overlaid by that 
of the compadrazgo. In the same way it serves to reinforce ties 
with members of the family. However, it is also entered into 
with persons who are not relatives. These may be neighbours 
or they may equally be friends who live in another pueblo. 
There are certain advantages in having a compadre in another 
pueblo, though the danger of losing touch with him if one 
ceases to be able to go there is also to be considered. Finally, 
there is the powerful senorito who is padrino to the child of a 
poor family. In this case, the relationship of compadre is not 
stressed so much as that of the munificent padrino. "Don 
Fulano is padrino to that family for he has baptised one of 
their children." This establishes him formally as their pro 
tector, but, without any such ritual tie, the word is also used 
to mean any powerful person who is prepared to patronise 
(empadrinar) a poor man or to use his power to protect him. 
"El que no tiene padrino no sirve pa 5 na' " ("He who has no 
padrino is no use for anything"), said a dejected poor man, 
whose application for a plot of ground in a new colonisation 
scheme had failed. A popular saying expresses the same idea : 
"El que tiene padrinos se bautiza" ("He who has padrinos 
gets baptised"). There are &\$b padrinos who offer themselves 
at the suggestion of the religious associations in order to 
encourage poor people to celebrate their relationship with 
the rites of the Church. Certain of them cannot afford to 


get married though they live together as man and wife. The 
padrino pays for the religious ceremony and gives them a 
present as well. 

The significance of this institution will only be seen clearly 
in conjunction with the institution of friendship which is 
discussed in Chapter IX and from which it differs in that it is 
a permanent relationship which cannot be renounced. 

A certain diversion from the theme of this chapter has 
been necessary in order to treat of kinship coherently, and to 
show the limits of its influence as a principle of grouping and 
how it creates ties between the sexes. It is not intended to 
convey that where there are ties of kinship or affinity people 
do not give weight to the difference of sex. Marriage, the 
nodal point of the system, is founded precisely on this 
difference. A man reaches his full manliness in fatherhood ; a 
woman in motherhood attains her full social standing. The 
change which marriage brings in the relationship of novios is 
reflected by changed attitudes. Marriage marks the end of 
romantic love, the beginning of the preparation for parent 
hood. This transition is reflected in the nostalgia of married 
people for the days when they were novios. "That is when 
everyone is happiest." 

The change of attitude is not always complete. Few are the 
men who do not retain something of the boy, and there are 
opportunities for many members of the pueblo for justifying 
their manliness while away from home. But the fleeting 
infidelity need not detain us. We are concerned with pre 
marital and extra-marital relations within the community. 

It is generally conceded that girls' morals are not what they 
used to be. Babies are not infrequently born to the unmarried 
novia. Provided that her novio will marry her there is no harm 
done and no great shame attaches to her plight, at any rate 
among the people with no "social pretensions ". The 
sanctions of public opinion are strongly exerted to force the 
boy to honour his obligation to marry her. Salvador D. was 
father to his novia's child while he was still writing to another 
novia whom, he maintained, he preferred but who lived 
elsewhere (he had met her in Jerez during his military 
service). His widowed mother, a very forceful character, 
went to the family of the girl and demanded that the baby 


should be named after her, as was her right if the marriage 
were to take place, As both grandmothers were called Maria 
a happy ambiguity prevailed, but soon afterwards the mother 
made a demand for the girl's hand on her son's behalf and 
paid some money for the setting up of the house. When the 
child was nearly eighteen months old they were finally 
married. The delay was partly due to the fact that his elder 
brother had to get married first. In most cases the parents of 
children born prematurely marry. However, in another case 
the novio rebelled, said the father of the child was not he but 
his uncle, and there was a very ugly row which would have 
ended in the courts had not the papers been mysteriously 
mislaid. The child had no father, took the same surnames as 
its mother, and its uncle was padrino. 

In neither of these instances was the courtship really well 
established. In other cases, as we have seen, poor couples set 
up house together without the formality of a marriage 
ceremony and raise a family. During the years before the 
Civil War many families abandoned the rites of the Church, 
but in the eyes of the pueblo this is not important. If they live 
together faithfully and raise a family then they are married. 
"I don't know whether they are married by the Church, but 
they are a married couple' 5 , is how the matter is explained. 
Today many pressures are brought to bear in order to get 
them married. Both the Church societies and also the Town 
Hall use their influence. In certain cases, the need to register 
the child in order to get it a ration-card at the time of 
weaning is seen to be the conclusive moment. It is then said 
that: "Les echan las bendiciones" ("The marriage is 

No doubt on account of a pregnancy, there are a number 
of couples who marry very young, some even before the boy 
has done his military service. While, in addition to these 
cases, it sometimes happens that young novios wish to force 
the issue, and run away together, establishing themselves in 
a house in the pueblo very often in a house belonging to 
parents who are farmers in the valley. Sometimes the parents 
react by recovering their daughter and, if she is still under 
their tutelage, bringing the forces of Justice into action against 
the young man; but in other instances they accept ihzfait 


accompli and attempt to enable the young couple to set up a 
home and get married. 

In short, the situation presents no grave problem as long 
as the parties are unmarried. If, on the other hand, they are 
either of them married and are not content to observe discre 
tion but set up house together, then the pueblo finds itself 
threatened in one of its vital structural principles. Its reaction 
will be described in a later chapter. 

The lack of recognised obligations between kin within the 
pueblo can be contrasted with those which exist between 
fellow-townsmen, whether they be kin or not, outside the 
pueblo. The term natwraleza> meaning literally birthplace, but 
hence the pueblo to which a person belongs by origin, ex 
presses this in formal contexts, and the significance of this 
has already been mentioned. A person who goes away 
requires an acquaintance in the place to which he goes who 
will accept responsibility for him, and a close relative is 
obviously the ideal host in this situation brothers, brothers- 
in-law, uncles, primos; but failing a relative then a fellow- 
townsman is the person who assumes this responsibility. When 
women go abroad they usually put up at the house of an 
Alcalarena even though they may not claim friendship with 
her previously. The lack of structural obligations within the 
pueblo can be related to its completeness as a community, in 
the sense that the relationship of fellow- townsmen to fellow- 
townsman requires no amplification and admits no exclusion 
in the context of daily life. Away from the pueblo, in another 
place, this same sense of community between fellow-towns 
men is what the obligation rests on. 


The Sexes 
(iii) The Values of the Female 

IT is now possible to discuss the values attaching to woman 
hood. We have seen how the tasks of the community are 
distributed between the sexes and have observed the 
importance of the role of the male sex in relation to the legal 
structure of the state ; man's pre-eminence, that is to say, in 
formally conducted social relations. On the other hand, we 
have observed that women play a predominant part in the 
home and, on that account, in the structure of neighbourly 
relations. And this may be allied to the fact that the women 
are in the pueblo all the time while the majority of men must 
leave it in order to work. The male social personality has 
been related to the conception of manliness. The feminine 
counterpart of the conception, which expresses the essence 
of womanhood, is vergiienza, or shame. In certain of its aspects 
only, for the word has first of all a general sense not directly 
related to the feminine sex and it is this which must first be 

It means shame, the possibility of being made to blush. It 
is a moral quality, like manliness, and it is persistent, though 
like manliness or like innocence, which it more closely 
resembles, it may be lost. Once lost it is not, generally 
speaking, recoverable, though a feeling persists that it is only 
lost by those whose shame was not true shame but a deceptive 
appearance of it. It is the essence of the personality and for 
this reason is regarded as something permanent. 

It is closely connected with right and wrong, since its 
presence or absence is detected through an ethical evaluation 
of the person's behaviour which is thought, in fact, to be 
determined by it, but it is not synonymous with conscience. 
It is, rather, its overt or sociological counterpart. The social 

5- The Day of the Bull 

6. Corpus Christi procession 


anthropologist possesses no technique for examining the 
motivations of the individual conscience ; but, fortunately for 
him, people are disinclined to let pass without comment 
behaviour on the part of their fellows which they would feel 
guilty to indulge in themselves, and are even willing some 
times to decry publicly that which they would do themselves 
if they had the chance, and believed they could do without it 
being known. The code of ethics to which vergiienza is related 
is that which incurs the moral stricture of the community. 
To use Marett's distinction, it relates to "external moral 
sanctions" not to "internal moral sanctions" or conscience. 1 
Thus, to do a thing blatantly makes a person a sin vergiienza 
(shameless one) ; but to have done it discreetly, would only 
have been wrong. This, then, is the difference. Shamelessness 
faces the world, faces people in particular situations. Wrong 
faces one's conscience. Let me now try a definition : 

" Vergiienza is the regard for the moral values of society, for 
the rules whereby social intercourse takes place, for the 
opinion which others have of one. But this, not purely out 
of calculation. True vergiienza is a mode of feeling which 
makes one sensitive to one's reputation and thereby causes 
one to accept the sanctions of public opinion." 

Thus a sin vergiienza is a person who either does not accept 
or who abuses those rules. And this may be either through a 
lack of understanding or through a lack of sensitivity. One 
can perceive these two aspects of it. 

First as the result of understanding, upbringing, education. 
"Lack of education" is a polite way of saying "lack of 
verguenza". It is admitted that if the child is not taught how 
to behave it cannot have vergiienza. It is sometimes necessary to 
beat a child "to give him vergiienza") and it is the only justifi 
able excuse for doing so. Failure to inculcate vergiienza into 
one's children brings doubt to bear upon one's own vergiienza. 

But, in its second aspect as sensitivity, it is truly hereditary. 
A person of bad heredity cannot have it since he has not been 
endowed with it. He can only behave out of calculation as 
though he had it, simulating what to others comes naturally. 
A normal child has it in the form of shyness, before education 

i R. R. Marett: "The beginnings of morals and culture", in An Outline of 
Modern Knowledge (London, 1931). 
p.s. 8 

114 THE 

has developed it. When a two-year-old hides its face from a 
visitor it is because of its verguenza. Girls who refuse to dance 
in front of an assembled company do so because of their 
verguen^. Verguenza takes into consideration the personalities 
present. It is verguenza which forbids a boy to smoke in the 
presence of his father. In olden times people had much more 
verguenza than today, it is said. Another polite form illustrates 
this aspect of shame. To be shameless in this sense is to be 
descarado or car a dura (hard-faced) , and this is a far more 
serious matter than to be "thick-skinned", the nearest 
expression in English to it. 

It is in this second sense., as a moral quality innate and 
hereditary, that the term sin verguenza reaches its full force 
as an insult, that the epithet used to a man's face is tanta 
mount to insulting the purity of his mother. 

The value attaching to a word depends upon the situation 
in which it is used. The humorous use of sin verguenza is 
common, particularly in reference to infants and pets. The 
affectionate father pinches the little boy's cheek and tells him 
adoringly that he is one. This is not only a form of humorous 
inversion but also a statement of a truth : the child is not old 
enough to understand the values of society and therefore a 
sense of shame in relation to conduct is not demanded of it. 
It amounts to telling it that it can do no wrong. As it grows 
older the term will acquire more seriousness. The first situa 
tion in which it will hear the serious use of the expression is in 
relation to its excretory habits. This is the first situation in 
which a sense of shame is required. Other forms of conduct 
will become reprehensible in those terms as the child grows 
up. But the humorous use recurs whenever the indulgence 
associated with childhood is evoked : whenever, for example, 
middle-aged men feel boyish. 

It will hardly surprise the reader to learn that verguenza is 
closely associated with sex. While to cheat, lie, betray or 
otherwise behave in an immoral manner shows a lack of 
shame, sexual conduct is particularly liable to exhibit shame- 
lessness, and particularly in the female sex. Lack of shame 
exhibited in other behaviour is, as it were, derived from a 
fundamental shamelessness which could be verifiable if one 
were able to know about such matters in the person's sexual 


feelings. It is highly significant that the more serious 
insults which can be directed at a man refer not to him at all 
but to a female member of his elementary family and in 
particular to his mother. Personal reproach, while it refers 
to a man's character or actions, is answerable, but when it 
concerns a man's mother then his social personality is 
desecrated. At that point, if he has manliness, he fights. Up 
till that point matters can be argued. A man must make a 
living for his family, and this will lead him into conflict with 
other men. To fail to meet his family responsibilities would 
be far more shameless than to take advantage of people for 
whom he was not responsible. A certain licence is conceded 
to the male sex, so that a man is not judged so severely either 
in matters relating to business or in his sexual conduct, where 
the need to justify his manliness provides an understandable 
explanation of his shortcomings. "Men are all shameless", 
women say. The essence of his shame will be seen in 
his heredity, however. And therefore a reflection upon his 
mother's shame is far more vital than a reflection upon his 
own conduct. By extension, any reflection upon his sister's 
shame is important to him since it derives from his mother's. 
The whole family is attained by the shamelessness of one of 
its female members. 

Just as the official and economic relations of the family are 
conducted in the name of its head, the husband, who has 
legal responsibility for and authority over its members, so the 
moral standing of the family within the community derives 
from the verguenza of the wife. The husband's manliness and 
the wife's verguenza are complementary. Upon the conjunc 
tion of these two values the family, as a moral unity, is 
founded. From it the children receive their names, their 
social identity and their own shame. Shameless behaviour on 
the part of their mother marital unfaithfulness is the most 
serious example of this, though one form of shamelessness 
implies the others and is implied by them, since verguenza is 
something which either one possesses or one lacks brings 
doubt to bear upon their paternity. They are no longer the 
children of their father. He is no longer father of his children. 
The importance of a woman's vergiienza in relation to the 
social personality of her children and of her husband rests 


upon this fact. Adultery on the husband's part does not affect 
the structure of the family. This is recognised in the law of 
the land in the distinction which it makes between adultery 
on the part of the husband or wife. A husband's infidelity 
is only legally adultery if it takes place in the home or 
scandalously outside it. 1 

A wife's vergiienza involves a man, then, in quite a different 
way to his mother's. Her unfaithfulness is proof only of her, 
not of his, shamelessness, but it defiles his manliness. In a 
sense it testifies to his lack of manliness, since had he proved 
an adequate husband and kept proper authority over her 
she would not have deceived him. This much is implied, at 
any rate, in the language which appears to throw the blame 
for his misfortune on the deceived husband himself. In 
English, the word "cuckold 55 is thought to derive from 
cuckoo, the bird which lays its egg in the nest of another. Yet 
the word refers not to him who plays the part of the cuckoo, 
that is, the cuckolder, but to the victim whose role he usurps. 
The same curious inversion is found in Spanish. The word 
cabrdn (a he-goat), the symbol of male sexuality in many 
contexts, refers not to him whose manifestation of that 
quality is the cause of the trouble but to him whose implied 
lack of manliness has allowed the other to replace him. To 
make a man a cuckold is in the current Spanish idiom, "to 
put horns on him". I suggest that the horns are figuratively 
placed upon the head of the wronged husband in significa 
tion of his failure to defend a value vital to the social order. 
He has fallen under the domination of its enemy and must 
wear his symbol. 

The word cabrdn is considered so ugly that it is never 
mentioned in its literal sense in Alcald. Even shepherds refer 
to the billy-goat of the herd by the euphemism d cabrito (the 
kid) . Yet, figuratively, the pueblo uses the word in a wider 
sense than is general. It applies there to both the cuckold 
and the cuckolder, to any male, in fact, who behaves in a 
sexually shameless manner. It will be noted in the rhymes 
quoted on page 1 72 that the horns are attributed to someone 
who was neither cuckolder nor cuckold but had left his wife 
and children in order to set up house with another woman. 

i Viz. Criminal Code, art. 452, also Civil Code, art. 105, I. 


The best translation of cabrdn as the pueblo uses it is "one 
who is on the side of anti-social sex". 

While the greatest importance is attached to female con 
tinence and the Andalusion accent upon virginity illus 
trates this incontinence in the male has been shown to 
carry quite different implications. Sexual activity enhances 
the male prestige, it endangers the female, since through it a 
woman may lose her verguenza and thereby taint that of her 
male relatives and the manliness of her husband. Yet 
verguenza in a woman is not synonymous with indifference or 
frigidity towards the opposite sex. Quite the contrary, it is 
the epitome of womanhood and as such finds itself allied in 
the ideal of woman with the beauty and delicacy which are 
most admired. The sacred imagery of Seville or the Saints of 
Murillo illustrate this point abundantly. 

The avoidance previously noted between the girl's father 
and her novio can now be explained. Until the young man 
marries her and thereby becomes a member of her family 
and therefore a person concerned in her verguenza, he repre 
sents a threat to it and through it to that of her family. The 
avoidance may be seen to relate to the ambiguity of his 
position as, at the same time, both the potential future son- 
in-law and also as a threat to the family's verguenza* 

In the juxtaposition of these two conceptions, manliness 
and verguenza, there are two possible bases of interrelation : 
one social, the other anti-social. In marriage, the wife's 
verguenza ratifies the husband's manliness and combined with 
her fertility proves it. Through his manliness he gives her 
children, thereby raising her to the standing of mother and 
enabling her to pass her vergiienza on. The instincts implanted 
by nature are subordinated to a social end. But if these 
instincts seek satisfaction outside marriage then they 
threaten the institution of the family. Extra-marital mani 
festations of female sexuality threaten the verguenza of her 
own kin. On the other hand, the male attempt to satisfy his 
self-esteem in a sexually aggressive way is also anti-social but 
for a different reason. If he approaches a woman who has 
verguenza, he involves her in its loss and through that loss in 
that of another man's manliness, a husband's or a future 
husband's. Within the community of the pueblo this cannot 


but be a serious matter, and Chapter XI will show how the 
pueblo reacts to such a threat. Expressed in moral terms, 
vergiienza is the predominant value of the home. It involves 
restraint of individual desires, the fulfilment of social obliga 
tions, altruism within the family, personal virtue and social 
good. Manliness, on the other hand, unharnessed to female 
virtue and the values of the home which it upholds and 
economically supports, means the conquest of prestige and 
individual glory, the pursuit of pleasure, a predatory attitude 
towards the female sex and a challenging one towards the 
male ; hence social evil and personal vice. According to the 
values of the pueblo it is only a force of good as long as it 
remains within, or potentially within, the institution of 

The value system expressed in these conceptions has been 
treated so far as if it were common to the whole of the society 
of Alcald and uniform throughout even a far more extended 
area. Yet this is hardly to be expected. Anyone acquainted 
with the social history of Europe will have observed the 
variation in the customs relating to sex, both from one country 
and also from one period to another, but above all from one 
social class to another within the same country and historical 
period, while on the contrary certain values are characteristic 
of a particular class throughout European history. The 
"immorality" of aristocracies is traditional, while, to take an 
example from a different class, the attitudes in relation to sex 
defined by Freud have been declared to be valid only within 
the middle-classes of Protestant or Jewish cultures. In fact, 
generally speaking, there is a difference in attitude not only 
between the sexes but also between the Andalusian senorito 
and the pueblo (plebs). It cannot be said to amount to a 
serious difference in values so much as a difference in the 
opportunities to implement or defy them. Men with more 
money and greater freedom of movement have more oppor 
tunity to indulge their manliness in what would, within a 
community, be an anti-social way. If the behaviour of the 
senoritos conforms less strictly to the morality of the pueblo, it 
is because they escape the full force of the moral sanctions of 
the community. They demand, at the same time, a stricter 


mode of conduct from their womenfolk. On account of the 
social prestige which they enjoy, they feel themselves entitled 
to justify their manliness in relation to the opposite sex, even 
though this involves them in conduct which they regard as 
morally wrong. It does not involve them in loss of shame as 
long as their womenfolk are not involved in any way. The 
sanctions which hold the anti-social manifestations of sex in 
check cannot depend upon the public opinion of the pueblo 
in cases where the pueblo would never know anything about 
it, but only (apart from conscience) upon a particular con 
cern for other social personalities which is expressed in the 
word "respect". A young man who came to the pueblo as 
a summer visitor explained once that while friendship with 
an attractive girl was virtually impossible on account of the 
desire which the young man would have of making a con 
quest, there were, nevertheless, certain relationships of trust 
which obliged him to avoid placing himself in a situation 
where he might be the prey to temptation. These relation 
ships of trust were created by the respect which he had in the 
first place for the girl's husband or novio, secondly for her 
father, and thirdly for her brother. If one were not acquain 
ted with the persons in question then there was no obligation 
to refrain from gallantries. There was, however, one final 
exception and this was when one felt respect for her of the 
kind which one might have towards one's wife, or such that 
one might wish to make her one's wife. 1 In effect, these 
restrictions virtually exclude any young woman who is 
regarded as a social equal, and in this way the manifestations 
of anti-social sex are projected outside the circle of local 
upper class society. 

It is possible to see now that the conceptual basis of sexual 
behaviour is the same in the society of the senoritos of the 
large towns as in the pueblo, only the background of sanc 
tions against which it is brought into play differs. The com 
munity not the system of values is different. When a wealthy 
summer visitor attempted to persuade a young girl of the 

i The respect is of course for her verguenza. To achieve her conquest -would 
entail the loss of her vergiienza, which would involve one in a relationship with 
her male relatives incompatible with that between affinal kin. In a slightly 
different way a man is said to lack "respect " for his wife if he indulges in extra 
marital adventure's. 


pueblo to allow him to set her up as his mistress in a flat in 
Seville, he was frustrated. The religious associations under 
the leadership of the wives of the senoritos of the village packed 
her off to a convent. 

If the essential values of manliness and verguenza are 
similar throughout the social structure of the pueblo, there 
are, nevertheless, certain points at which differences of status 
and naturaleza cut across the values relating to the sexes. The 
social relations of the family are conducted in different 
spheres by the husband or the wife and these are relatively of 
greater or lesser importance according to the position of the 
family in society, its relationship to the community or to the 
state. The position of the administrators' wives furnishes an 
example. Their husbands have a function to fulfil which gives 
them a basis for their relationship with the pueblo. But the 
wives, on the contrary, coming mostly from the big towns, 
find themselves restricted by their conception of social class 
and their naturaleza and by the fact that they participate in 
few of the activities which unite the women of the pueblo. 
They tend not to establish deep friendships except with one 
another, to stick much to their houses, and to bemoan their 
fate in having to live in such an outlandish place as Alcala. 
Several who come from Malaga, Jerez or Cddiz spend much 
of their time there with their parents. The position of the 
senoritos' wives is not the same. They play a leading part in 
Church affairs and are attached to the pueblo, apart from 
their membership of the community by birth, through their 
work in organising the Church brotherhoods, and the various 
other functions in which, officially or unofficially, women 

In brief the significance of sex in a society comprises 
much more than what is termed the division of labour. The 
sex of a person determines his position not only in regard to 
the organisation of productive or useful labour but to all 
activities, and not only in regard to activities but in regard to 
the values which influence conduct. 

In this society it can be seen that men are entrusted with 
authority, with the earning of money, the acquisition of 
prestige (a woman taking her status by and large from her 


husband), with relations of an official character, that is to 
say, with institutions recognised by the law of the land in 
consequence of which the sanctions which the law exerts 
apply more effectively to them, that they spend a greater 
amount of time outside the pueblo and the home, that they 
are permitted a more aggressive attitude in sexual behaviour, 
and that they gain prestige through qualities of strength and 
above all courage. 

Conversely, women are entrusted with the maintenance of 
the home and all that it means, are more continually in the 
pueblo, and are more susceptible to the sanctions of personal 
criticism or gossip in the dissemination of which they play a 
more important part, as they also do in religious observances. 
A greater reserve is required of them in matters touching 
sex, and they are thought to be the repository for the whole 
family of the quality of shame upon which the sanctions of 
morality operate. They gain admiration through beauty and 
delicacy, but physical courage is not required of them. 

These differences, by no means comprehensive, are seen to 
vary in relation to social status according to the relative 
importance in their lives of forces exterior to the pueblo, or 
of forces deriving from the personal contacts within it. Thus, 
illiterate people are more dependent upon personal contacts 
than are those who can read for themselves the notices in the 
Town Hall and the provincial newspaper while, to give 
another example, people who employ a servant, in that the 
womenfolk no longer go to the fountain or the wash-house, are 
relatively less dependent upon it. The distinction will also 
be seen to be significant in relation to the institutions which 
are described subsequently. 


Political Structure 

WHEN I first entered the casino I was asked to meet ec el amo 
de Alcald 53 ("the master of Alcald") and it is common to 
hear the expression ec el amo del pueblo" in reference to the 
mayor. In the village his word is law. He is the "delegate of 
the government 55 , 1 appointed, being a town of less than 
10,000 inhabitants, by the provincial governor. He is not 
paid, but his appointment is an order which may not be 
refused. He must have the civil governor's permission if he is 
to be absent from his post for more than fifteen days, and he 
must inform the provincial capital if he is to be absent for 
more than twenty-four hours. The post is of indefinite dura 
tion. The symbol of his authority is the rod, and until the 
establishment of a post of the Civil Guard (as little as eight 
years ago in the case of Benalurin) the mayor of the pueblo 
bore the sole and direct responsibility for public order. 

The mayor is assisted in his duties by the town clerk, a 
civil servant, member of a professional corps, appointed by 
the Ministry of the Interior, and only in very rare instances 
a son of the pueblo. He is the person who knows the law and 
runs the Town Hall. There is a town council of six members, 
elected, two by the "vecinos cabezas de familia" (neigh 
bours, the heads of households), two by the syndicates, and a 
further two by the four already elected from a list presented 
by the civil governor. These elections excite little interest and 
in fact the mayor has more or less whom he wants. From 
among their number he appoints two to be his lieutenants. 

In Chapter I we were concerned with the moral unity of 
the pueblo and the ways in which it was differentiated, 
culturally, from other pueblos. In the overt political structure 
this unity is emphasised no less. The competence of the 

1 The form of local government derives from the Ley de Regimen Local, 1950, 
With reference to the opening paragraph of this chapter, cf. arts. 59-67. 


municipality extends over such matters as : urban planning, 
the administration of its properties and the common lands, 
measures relating to hygiene, rural and urban police, trans 
ports, marketing, including the establishment of monopolies 
in its favour, the levying of certain forms of taxation, 
instruction, culture and social assistance. These responsi 
bilities are met from a budget of about a third of a million 
pesetas. About half this sum is derived from property owned 
by the municipality. The other half is made up from octrois, 
a tax upon the killing of beasts, a percentage of various taxes 
formerly owned by the municipality but now the property of 
the state these taxes are collected in the pueblo by a tax- 
collector who is the employee of the state and an outsider, 
but who lives in the pueblo compensation paid by the state 
for other taxes which it has recently appropriated, and 
subsidies for unemployment benefit. In addition, the mayor's 
powers include a number of emergency measures such as 
that which entitles him, in times of hunger, to levy a special 
contribution for the support of the unemployed, or alterna 
tively, in such circumstances, to allot men in need of support 
to the different households of the community where they 
must be fed and given a small wage for the support of their 
family until the time of crisis is over. It is also customary for 
him to decide upon a minimum for each householder's 
contribution to certain charities. The municipality's out 
goings consist of: wages to its servants, the up-keep of public 
buildings, including the law-court; public works; the financ 
ing of public functions such as the yearly fair ; taxes of the 
state upon the properties of the municipality ; public debt ; 
public assistance (apart from that of the health insurance 
scheme) either direct or in the form of free medicine, treat 
ment and burial for the indigent about four times as much 
is spent upon this as is received for the purpose in the state 
subsidy; down to 5,000 pesetas set aside to meet the expense 
of receiving a state official should one happen to pay Alcala 
the honour of a visit. 

The hamlet of Penaloja is administered integrally with 
Alcala. The mayor of Penaloja is appointed by the mayor of 
Alcala and has no powers except as his representative. The 
other pueblos of the partido are entirely independent of 


Alcala. In this instance the mayor of Alcala is also the deputy 
to the provincial council, and as such he represents the 
pueblos of the partido. 

The law recognises four forms of co-operation between 
municipalities, called mancomunidad or commonwealth. Only 
two of these are illustrated in this partido : Agrupacion forzosa, 
the obligatory sharing of the services and expenses of the 
institutions of the law by all the municipalities ofthepartido : 
and agrupacion facultativa which municipalities are free to 
engage in by mutual agreement. Alcald possesses such an 
alliance with Benalurin in regard to the services and ex 
penses of the vet. The vet of Alcala is thus also the vet of 

The doctor and the chemist are directly dependent on the 
municipality. They receive a salary paid by the municipality 
in virtue of their role in the social services. In the doctor's 
case the greater part of his income is derived from his private 
practice, and in the chemist's case his shop. They cannot be 
considered purely as servants of the municipality, but they 
are obliged to co-operate with it in many matters; and 
though their appointment does not depend on the mayor, 
they are in no position to oppose his policy. 

Mention has already been made of the rural schoolmasters 
who give lessons on the farms. The "national schoolmasters", 
members of the corps to whom public education is entrusted, 
are very different. Theirs is a "career" and appointments are 
made by the state, with the agreement of the municipality by 
whom they are actually paid. Of the five schoolmasters of 
Alcald only two are sons of the pueblo. One is from Benalurin, 
and the remaining two are Andalusians. Of the four school 
mistresses only one is of the pueblo. These schools, situated 
all in the town save for the single mixed school in the valley, 
educate the majority of the children of Alcala. Certain poor 
families of shepherds need the services of their children with 
the flocks and would prefer not to send them to school, but 
pressure is brought to persuade them to do so. There is much 
talk of the disgrace of illiteracy on the part of the political 
leaders and the present regime has devoted great efforts to 
education. The education is, although free of the organisation 
of the Church, much concerned with religious teaching, for 


the rulers feel that their failure to ensure the religious 
education of the working-classes was responsible for the 
Civil War. Most people recognise that education will be an 
advantage to their children, 1 and one may sometimes en 
counter a compromise between the demands of the present 
and the hopes of the future in the shepherd boy who sits on 
the hillside doing his sums. The families of the landowners 
and professional men normally send their children to the 
local school when they are small and to a convent-school in 
Ronda for their later education. 

A certain anomaly may be detected in the position of these 
servants both of municipality and state : the schoolmasters, 
town clerks, secretaries of the Town Hall or of Justice. They 
are, on the one hand, members of a professional body to 
which they owe their professional status, and, on the other, 
members of a local body. These two sometimes divergent 
ties are resolved in the system of appointments. A member of 
the corps may be appointed to fill a vacancy, but he may 
then prefer not to discharge the duties himself but to put in 
a substitute approved by the municipality, also a member of 
the corps, paying him a percentage of the salary (or even the 
whole salary for the effect of devaluation has brought 
hardship to these people, and they can barely live modestly 
upon their earnings if they have a family). He may then 
devote himself to other matters or he may equally take on the 
job of substitute in a place more to his liking. Thus the mayor 
was until recently a substitute schoolmaster who held an 
official post as schoolmaster in another part of Andalusia. 
His wife, a schoolmistress, held her post in Alcala "by right ". 
The owner of the post may at any time oblige his substitute 
to relinquish it to him in order that he may fill it in person. 
When the owner of the mayor's post returned this happened, 
but the latter, having become deputy of the partido to the 
provincial council, already had plenty of work on his hands 
and was very ready to abandon it. In the same way, the town 
clerk of Alcala is substitute for a Catalan who prefers to live 

1 The great emphasis which the Anarchist Movement laid upon education 
may be recalled in this connection. There is a tendency among the poor families 
to deride the state education saying that they teach the children nothing but a 
lot of religious nonsense. 


in Barcelona. He, himself, "owns" l the post of town clerk 
in a nearby pueblo. 

There are other servants of the state who exercise their 
function in the pueblo but are less directly dependent upon 
the municipality : the state tax-collector, the administrator of 
posts and telegraph, and so on. They, nevertheless, require to 
collaborate closely with the municipal authorities, and their 
common dependence upon the provincial capital ensures 

The executives of the municipality include the clerical 
staff, the rural guard, the municipal guards, the alguaciles (the 
officers of Justice), the cemetery-keeper, etc. They are all 
sons of the pueblo and are purely dependent upon the muni 
cipality which even has freedom to dress its guards in the 
uniform of its choosing. They execute the will of the muni 
cipality in all the sphere of its competence. They are persons 
endowed with authority. The rural guard must see that pigs 
killed upon the farms, as well as those which are brought to 
the slaughter-house of the pueblo, are declared and pay the 
tax; he must verify matters which are brought before the 
courts. The guards have powers of arrest and a responsibility 
for public order within the pueblo. In the case of any serious 
outbreak of violence, however, they send for the Civil Guard: 
They collect the octrois and they enforce the Town Hall's 
regulations regarding the markets. They are responsible for 
seeing that people do not avoid paying their taxes and that 
the census returns are filled in correctly. They perform these 
duties with a zeal tempered by human understanding, for 
they are not the anonymous representatives of the state, but 
members of the pueblo known by everybody since their 
childhood. The fact that they are called by their Christian 
names and nicknames, in contrast to the Civil Guard who 
are known by their surnames, illustrates the difference in the 
relationship of the two organisations to the pueblo. They are 
not moved by a desire to see that the law is carried out to the 
letter but rather that the wishes of the mayor are obeyed. To 
give an example, the tax upon business enterprises is only 
paid by those of importance, for the municipal guards are 
prepared to turn a blind eye to poor people who try to make 

i A post is said to be held depropiedad by the official incumbent. 


their living by trading or baking. But from time to time the 
mayor decides that things are getting out of hand and sends 
them round to close down the unlicensed businesses. 

The essence of the political doctrine which inspires the 
present government of Spain is to be found in the syndical 
organisation. The "party", founded in 1934, proclaimed 
itself from the first "national-syndicalist", and, in contrast to 
British trade-unionism, which grew from the need to unite 
the workers in order to give them the power to protect their 
own interests, it envisaged a system of syndicates which would 
include both employers and employed and would fill the 
role, in the desired state, both of labour organisation and 
unique political party. It claimed to incarnate the destiny of 
Spain. The party grew to power quickly during the Civil 
War, and, although many compromises were imposed upon 
it by the demands of the times, it succeeded in maintaining, 
within the national movement, the supremacy of its ideas in 
regard to labour. These ideas grew up, not like those of the 
Andalusian Anarchists in the agricultural towns, but in the 
capital and industrial cities. Their application in the social 
structure of Alcala presents a strikingly different picture to 
that which may be seen in some other parts of Spain, and 
even of Andalusia. This is not the place for such comparisons. 
We are concerned only with the office of the secretary of 
syndicates in the pueblo of Alcala, and the central provincial 
headquarters which issues regulations relating to wage-levels, 
price-levels for controlled agricultural produce, and which 
provides a court of appeal to which disputes regarding 
employment may be taken. These disputes are first of 
all heard in the office of the secretary of syndicates in 
the pueblo before a court comprised of two members of the 
Secci6n Economica (employers) and two members of the 
Seccion Social (employees), where, as a general rule, they 
are settled. 

The grain-control, the Servicio Nacional de Trigo, is also 
operated in the pueblo through the syndicate as are all the 
controls of agricultural produce. The office of the syndicates, 
in collaboration with the Town Hall, apportions among the 
farmers the share of the grain which the pueblo is required to 
produce. This grain is paid for at a controlled price. The 


black-market price sometimes soars to as much as four times 
this figure. The system originally demanded that an agreed 
area should be sown with wheat on each farm, and the 
farmer was then required to declare his crop. The prevalence 
of the return which asserted that the crop had been " totally 
lost" induced a more down-to-earth method of raising the 
required amount. After the harvest a list is published on the 
Town Hall notice-board stating what each farmer's contribu 
tion to the grain service is, and, after that, how he provides 
it is his own business. The syndical chiefs are responsible for 
this list. A varying number of other kinds of produce is also 
controlled in a similar way, though there is no obligation to 
cultivate specific crops. Inspectors arrive in the pueblo from 
time to time to supervise the collection of produce or to attempt 
to discover irregularities in the observance of the orders 
relating to these and other matters under the jurisdiction of 
the Syndical organisation. 1 Their visits are feared and 
resented by the whole pueblo, whose reaction to them has 
already been mentioned in Chapter I. Yet they are treated 
as guests should be treated. They for their part tend to be 
reserved in their behaviour. (One refused, on one occasion, 
to touch the glass of wine which had been placed before 
him.) Upon their arrival or knowledge of their approach 
word is sent to the valley where the millers prepare to receive 
their visit. This involves stopping the mill, sweeping up the 
flour and hiding it and the grain. Each mill is sealed with a 
wire which runs round the stone from the centre to the outer 
edge and is fixed with a metal seal. This is removed while the 
mill is in use but must be replaced for the inspector's visit, 
for it testifies that the mill has remained idle. These opera 
tions require considerable time and cannot be carried out 
in under an hour, so that from time to time a miller is caught 
red-handed. The inspector in due course reports the matter, 
and a fine is imposed by the provincial headquarters and in 
due course published. Upon certain occasions, however, the 
inspector can be persuaded to be lenient provided he is 

1 An account of the activities of an inspector is to be found in G. Brenan, 
The Face of Spain (London, 1950). In order to simplify, the distinction between 
the "inspector" and the "fiscal" is overlooked and both are here referred to as 

7. A sabia reciting an oration 

8. An old gypsy 


approached in good time. Once the fine is published there 
is nothing to be done. It must be paid. 

The law-court ofthepartido is situated in Alcala. A dispute 
enters the realm of law when a denunciation is made to the 
Town Hall. The disputants are then summoned before one 
of the Justices of the Peace accompanied by their hombre 
bueno (literally "good man"). There are two J.P.s. One is 
the owner of the cloth-factory, the other the owner of the 
cinema. The hombre bueno is any person of the litigant's 
choice, a friend whom he can trust to present his case well. 
The J.P. hears both parties and reasons with the hombres 
buenos, who reason with those they represent. Slowly the truth 
is thrashed out and the J.P., in the majority of cases, per 
suades both parties to agree. He has no power to impose 
decisions and if the parties do not agree he can only take a 
summary of evidence and refer the matter to court. 1 "I am 
a Justice of the Peace/ 5 says one, "my duty is to make peace. 
Only if I fail, does the matter go before the judge." Court 
proceedings involve a great deal of delay and a great deal of 
expense. The J.P.s have, in criminal accusations, a slightly 
greater competence. They are able to award punishment for 
such minor offences as gambling or abuses of municipal 
regulations. They can impose a fine up to the limit of 500 
pesetas, or they can sentence a man to a day's work mending 
the street under the supervision of the Civil Guard. 

A strong distaste for formal justice, a distrust of it and a 
preference for an equitable arrangement are to be found in 
the sentiments of the whole pueblo including those of the 
legal authorities. A good illustration of these was provided 
by the following incident. A poor man gained a living for 
himself and his family catching game by various methods 
licit and illicit. One night returning to the pueblo his gun 
exploded by accident and cost his neighbour her eye. It was 
out of season, and he had no gun licence. He was arrested 

i The role of the hombre bueno can be compared to that of the corredor in 
bargaining. He defends the pride of the litigant and enables him to withdraw 
from his position, not in answer to the threats of his adversary, but in answer to 
the pleading of his friend. There is an element of bargaining in such a situation 
which is offset by the J.P.'s exposition of the law and his warning of what is likely 
to happen in court. 

P.S. 9 


and held by the Civil Guard. But after the case had been 
examined by the J.P., people in authority began to ask them 
selves what useful end would be served by sending him to 
prison. He was a man of good character. The mayor, the 
J.P. and the judge discussed the matter. The priest put in a 
plea for lenience, and it was agreed that if the culprit paid 
2,000 pesetas compensation to the woman who had lost her 
eye no further action would be taken. The woman was a 
widow who depended for her living upon sewing. If the man 
went to prison he would not be able to earn anything to pay 
compensation to her, and in addition his family would be 
left without means of support. The man had no money, but 
the director of the agricultural bank, the Monte de Piedad, 
was persuaded to advance him the amount on the guarantee 
of two guarantors whom the regulations of the Monte de 
Piedad require, and who, not without a certain amount of 
difficulty, were found. The case did not appear before the 
court. This solution was regarded by all as far better than 
any that the law was capable of providing. 

A case in which litigation arose will be examined in more 
detail in a later chapter, and it will be seen once more that 
ethical considerations influence the course of formal justice. 

The authority of the mayor is exerted through the munici 
pal guards. The persecution of offenders against the law of 
the state, the criminal code, is in the hands of the Civil Guard. 
In fact, no clear distinction between municipal and national 
authority can be made in everyday life. The Civil Guard 
takes action at the request of the mayor, for, as I have pointed 
out, a high degree of co-operation exists between the rulers 
of the pueblo. The Civil Guard is commanded by a corporal 
who has a section of eight men, They live in a house in the 
pueblo with their wives and families* It is called, both offici 
ally and by the pueblo, the barracks. 

The Civil Guard was raised originally in 1844 in order to 
combat the bandits, and was subsequently of great importance 
in the repression of the Anarchist risings which became fre 
quent in Andalusia during the latter half of the century. Semi- 
military in character and organisation, they became no ted for 
the roughness of their methods, and were not beyond em- 


ploying on occasions the celebrated ley defugas, a pseudo-legal 
method of disposing of unwanted prisoners. They were much 
hated by the pueblo, and this fact was influential in the 
course of the Civil War in Andalusia. The first thought of 
the Anarchists when they came to power was to settle old 
scores with them, so that in the towns of Andalusia they were 
forced willy-nilly into common cause with the rebellion. In 
the capitals they frequently remained loyal to the Republic. 

The greater part of their time is spent in patrolling the 
countryside, and while there were still bandits in the 
mountains around Alcala their life was not only hard but 
perilous. They go always in pairs and always armed. 
Superficially their relations with the pueblo are amicable. 
There are sons of the pueblo who have joined the force and 
who return to visit their families while on leave ; for not all 
their strength is recruited from the sons of former members, 
but it is recognised that it is not possible to contract relations 
of lasting friendship with them. For even though an under 
standing is necessary with them if their good will is to be 
maintained, at any moment their orders may require them 
to violate the obligations of friendship. The farmers generally, 
but particularly the millers who are open to denunciation for 
milling at any moment, require to be on good terms with 
them, and it is customary for them to receive clandestine 
presents of flour or grain from time to time. Their position in 
the pueblo can be seen to consist, like that of the municipal 
guards, in a compromise between their personal relations 
with members of the pueblo and their duty to co-operate in 
implementing the will of the authorities. But whereas the 
municipal guards are sons of the pueblo and are concerned 
with the municipal authorities only, the Civil Guard are 
outsiders, members of a state organisation, and while they 
co-operate with the mayor they are under the orders of 
their officer in Jacinas. Ultimately they need answer only 
to him. 

Finally there exists a kind of home guard, the somatenes 
armados, raised originally in the time of General Primo de 
Rivera and composed of persons in whom the present 
regime has confidence. They do not meet as a body but are in 
possession of arms in their homes, and may be called upon 


to assist in the operations against the bandits, or to respond 
to any other call for armed force which may be made. 

The place of the Church within the social structure is a 
matter which cannot be ignored, even though it is not my 
intention to discuss religion. In Andalusia the Civil War 
might be likened to a religious conflict, in that the most 
important criterian of political action was allegiance or 
opposition to the Church. The names upon the memorial 
tablets and the roofless churches bear witness to this fact. In 
the pueblos of the countryside, in contrast sometimes to the 
big towns, the persons whom the Left put to death were 
priests, persons who had been connected with the Church 
such as sacristans, and pious persons particularly among the 
professional classes. It must be remembered that in fact the 
majority of the pueblo strongly disapproved of shooting any 
body. As a rule people were put to death, not publicly in the 
pueblo as in the account given in Hemingway's novel, For 
Whom the Bell Tolls, but secretly at night, a mile or two from 
the town. In many instances those responsible were not 
members of the pueblo at all but political or militia chiefs 
from other pueblos or the big towns. 

This situation of pro-clerical rulers and an anti-clerical 
pueblo is the reverse of that which saw the birth of anti- 
clericalism in Spain a century and a half ago, and this 
reversal is one of the conundrums of Spanish history. Brenan 
suggests that the effect of disestablishing the Church and 
sequestrating its lands was to throw the clergy into the arms 
of the propertied class who made political use of it, and 
thereby provoked opposition to it among the landless 
labourers. 1 In so far as it is possible to abstract a sequence of 
cause and effect from the multiple conditions of social history, 
this explanation has not been bettered. Yet one must not 
overlook the fact that a similar evolution has occurred in 
other countries of very different political history. It must be 
stressed, in any case, that anti-clericalism is not necessarily 
the outcome of loss of religious faith, and to make such a 
supposition here would be to misplace the problem. In Alcala 
strong anti-clerical opinions and faith in the powers of the 

i G. Brenan, The Spanish Labyrinth. 


saints, and particularly of the Blessed Virgin, are able to go 
hand in hand. This ambivalence, whose significance must 
be left to later pages, is not directed uniquely to the institu 
tion of the Church though it is most marked in regard to it; 
it has already been shown to exist in regard to the senoritos. 

The question of faith is not relevant to an examination of 
the political structure. What is relevant is the uniqueness 
of the institution of the Church in relation to social life. The 
Church alone can baptise, marry, 1 bury, celebrate the patron 
saint of the pueblo and the seasonal festivals and punctuate the 
calendar with the saints' days round which the folklore hangs. 
There is one priest of Alcala and four churches of which 
one was burned in the Anarchist rising of April 1936. There 
are five religious brotherhoods devoted to the cult of different 
saints, whose members are recruited from the pueblo. 
Subscriptions are extremely low, from i to 2 pesetas per 
annum in four brotherhoods, and n pesetas in the fifth 
case. The wives of the senoritos play a leading part in these 
organisations. Their functions are the organisation of 
religious festivals and charity. Of greater influence is the 
Catholic Action Committee which exerts itself in all matters 
touching religion, particularly in using pressure to get the 
rites of the Church observed by the poor, and to have 
immoral diversions such as modern dancing prohibited or at 
any rate discouraged. Missionary work is done by the ladies 
of the Catholic Action who go round the houses of the poor 
while the men are out at work and endeavour to persuade 
the women to go to confession. This causes resentment 
among anti-clerical husbands. "They go round in pairs like 
the Civil Guard," a man once complained. They also do 
good works, arranging for the care of the indigent and in 

In all the organisations connected with the Church 
women are much more active than men. The pueblo (plebs) 
looks upon religion as women's business, and men play little 
part in it save when encouraged or constrained to do so. They 
require no more from it than the fulfilment of its rites, and 
attendance, both in church and also in religious processions, 

i Civil marriage outside the Church was introduced by the Republic and 
abolished by the present government. 


is predominantly feminine. Among educated people this is 
not the case. On the other hand, men of the ruling group tend 
to consider more the political implications of religion, and 
to them anti-clerical is synonymous with "Red". In general, 
the attitude of men towards the Church is determined by 
political and social considerations; for these, as has been 
shown, are men's not women's business. 

The institutions which compose the political structure all 
depend upon a small number of persons in the pueblo. These 
are the core of what I have designated "the ruling group". 
The central figure is the mayor and all except the Church 
depend directly upon the co-operation of the municipality. 
The mayor is, by virtue of his position, also the local jefe del 
mommiento, the head of the " national movement", the 
amalgamation of political parties of which the chief of state 
is the supreme national head. As such he has authority over 
the secretary of the syndicates, and also over the "Move 
ment's" members, who comprise all of the ruling group. 
However, manners mean much to the Andalusian and it is 
not an authority which is constantly invoked. The mayor 
gives himself no airs. He appears, not as a hierarchical head 
separated by his authority from his subordinates, but simply 
as the key figure of the group. The group, as an actual reality 
rather than an abstract concept, is visible in the tertulia, the 
group of friends sitting round a table, and it is generally 
recognised that the realities of local politics are to be sought 
not in formal declarations in official contexts but in the 
informal talking among friends. The priest holds a tertulia 
on summer evenings outside the church. The mayor holds 
one sometimes in the town hall at the end of the morning, 
but he is more frequently seen sitting with one group or 
another in the casino. 

The casino is the last, and perhaps the most important, of 
the political institutions of the pueblo. It is a club possessing 
some one hundred and twenty members, that is to say 
roughly all those except day-labourers, small tenants and 
artisans but including some habitual summer visitors. It is a 
club in the sense that it has entrance fee and subscription, 
but it opens its doors to strangers, and during the fair, for 


example, is much like any other cafe. It is the meeting ground 
for the men of the ruling group, their friends and all those 
who are slightly well-to-do. Here cards and dominoes are 
played ceaselessly, and occasionally chess. In summer there 
are tables outside under the trees in the square, but there are 
also rooms at the back and upstairs. When important private 
business has to be discussed, a meeting takes place in one of 
the rooms, but this is rarely. Where everything depends in 
fact upon private understandings there is a prohibition upon 
secrecy. To retire with someone for private conversation 
arouses comment and the worst is always suspected. So the 
affairs of the pueblo are discussed casually and in public, 
but with infinite tact. When something important has to be 
said men go for a walk together to the end of the street. 

The casino is called the Circulo de la Union for it was 
formed by the fusion of the old liberal and conservative clubs. 
These clubs sprang up in Andalusia in the nineteenth 
century and were a necessary part of the system ofcaciquismo. 
Their union (and two have given way to one in all the smaller 
pueblos) illustrates the change which overtook the pueblos 
on the break-up of that system. After the general strike of 
1917 the Conservative and Liberal parties combined in 
coalition against the threat of revolution a revolution which 
eventually materialised. The balances have shifted, and their 
descendants remain bound together in the face of the pueblo 
and in their dependence upon the power of the state. The 
advances in the techniques of political control, of communi 
cations and of transport, and the economic interdependence 
resulting from them have lessened the distance between the 
local community and the central government, but at the 
same time have accentuated the difference between their 
cultures. Today the senoritos are culturally less part of the 
pueblo, more part of the regional middle-class. The regional 
middle-class has moved further to the centre. Much of their 
political power has passed into the hands of professional 
administrators. The conflict, inherent in all authority, has 
broken out and been resolved, in the case of present-day 
Andalusia, in favour of the central state which has drawn 
more directly under its political control the leadership of 
the Ipcal community. That this development has not been 


followed throughout the whole of Spain a glance at the 
country's history suffices to reveal. Where the integration of 
the local community has held fast, the conflict has developed 
at a different structural level (notably in the agricultural 
communities of the north). It was not fortuitous that the 
growth of a revolutionary working-class movement and the 
growth of the nationalist separatist movements went forward 
hand in hand. 


Friendship and Authority 

THE INSTITUTIONS through which the pueblo is governed 
were discussed in the last chapter. Yet in order to make plain 
how government is carried out we must examine one further 
institution, that of friendship, and the way it interlocks with 
the structure of authority. 

The egalitarian values of the pueblo are one of the themes 
of this study. Where all men are equal conceptually, the 
basis of their co-operation can only be reciprocal service ; 
a voluntary reciprocity dictated by the mutual agreement 
of the parties, as opposed to the prescribed reciprocity 
of ranks. The spirit of contract, not the spirit of status, 
determines their dealings. Such a spirit has already been 
observed in the system of co-operation in agriculture. Only 
one relationship outside kinship is ordained by the values of 
the pueblo rather than by the free will of those concerned and 
that is the neighbour. The supremacy of the geographical 
principle of social integration has been mentioned already, 
and this evaluation of proximity as a social bond provides the 
moral basis of neighbourship. Neighbours are thought to have 
particular rights and obligations towards one another. 
Borrowing and lending, passing embers, 1 help in situations of 
emergency, discretion regarding what they may have chanced 
to discover, compose the obligations into which neighbours 
are forced by their proximity, but it must be stressed that the 
relationship of neighbour is never a formal one. 2 It is a 

1 Cooking is all done with charcoal. A charcoal fire is easily lit by placing an 
ember from another fire in the bottom of the grate. To light it otherwise 
involves much more trouble. 

2 As for example in the Spanish Basque village (cf. J. Garo Baroja, Los 
Vascos), where in the funeral procession the coffin is borne by the heads of the 
four nearest houses, each one having his appointed place. In Alcala neighbours 
also bear the coffin, but there is no rule as to which neighbours. It is borne by 
anyone who offers himself or by a relative. If no one steps forward for this labour 
then it becomes a service which must be paid. To be borne to one's grave by 
hired hands is indeed a sign that one has died unloved. 


matter of mutual necessity, a relationship into which good 
people enter willingly. The pueblo rings with accusations, 
behind the victim's back of course, of being a bad neighbour. 
"If only one could choose one's neighbours. . . ." To be 
friendly is the duty of a properly brought-up person towards 
anyone while he is present, but a neighbour is always present. 
He might be described, then, as a friend whom circum 
stances impose upon one. 

Friendship, properly, is the free association with a person 
of one's choice. It implies a mutual liking (simpatia), but, as 
we shall see, this aspect of it is sometimes put at the beck and 
call of its other aspect ; mutual service. To enter into friend 
ship with someone means putting oneself in a state of obliga 
tion. This obligation obliges one to meet his request, even 
though it involves a sacrifice on one's own part. One must 
not, if one can help it, say "no" to a friend. On the other 
hand accepting a service involves him in an obligation, 
which he must be ready to repay. Hence the necessity for 
mutual confidence. One must have this as well as simpatia for 
a friend. This much is true of friendship anywhere. What is 
noticeable in Andalusia is the lack of formality which 
surrounds it (save in the single instance of the compadre). No 
formal declaration, no ritual initiates it ; one enters it through 
offering or receiving a favour. The instance of the inspector, 
who refused wine, "who wished friendship with no one" 
illustrates this point. He would not risk entering into 
reciprocal obligations which might interfere with his duty. 
Whether in fact friendship exists or not is frequently in 
doubt, hence the continual declarations of it, the reproaches 
for "lack of confidence", the praise acclaiming "a good 
friend". Hence also the subtle manoeuvres intended to test it. 

For friendship to be real must be disinterested. The 
language echoes the point continually. People assure one 
another that the favour they do is done with no afterthought, 
a pure favour which entails no obligation, an action which is 
done for the pleasure of doing it, prompted only by the desire 
to express esteem. 1 On the other hand, the suggestion that 

1 This assurance is also used by all the traffickers in the idiom of friendship 
who surround the tourist, so that "sin interes* ninguno" ("with no thought of 
interest") comes to mean by inversion "I am not charging you anything, but I 
expect a tip." 


someone's friendship is "interested" is a grave one. Honour 
able people fight shy of accepting a favour which they will 
not be able or will not wish to return. The other may wish 
for one's friendship in order to exploit it. Yet having once 
accepted friendship one cannot refuse to fulfil the obligations 
of friendship without appearing oneself the exploiter, for one 
has entered falsely into a tacit contract. This implication 
which forfeits a man his shame is used frequently by the 
exploiters of the principle of friendship. 

For the fundamental conception of friendship contains a 
paradox. A friend is, according to the definition given above, 
someone whom one likes and admires and wishes to be 
associated with for that reason. The association is established 
through a favour which expresses one's simpatia. If the favour 
is accepted, then the bond of friendship is established. 
Mutual confidence supposedly comes into existence. One is 
then entitled to expect a return of favour. For favour is at 
the same time both personal esteem and also service. The 
word favor possesses, like the English word, the meanings of, 
at the same time, an emotional attitude and also the material 
gesture which might be thought to derive from this. The 
former can only be proved by the latter, hence the double 
meaning of the word. Friendship which is interested is not 
true friendship since the bond of simpatia is missing in its 
place is vile calculation. The paradox, then, is this : that while 
a friend is entitled to expect a return of his feelings and 
favour he is not entitled to bestow them in that expectation. 
The criterion which distinguishes true from false friendship 
flees from the anthropologist into the realms of motive. Yet 
he may observe that this paradox gives to the institution of 
friendship the instability which has been noted. The friend 
who fails one ceases to be a friend. The boxid is broken. The 
way is left clear for a re-alignment of personal relations, 1 

Therefore the element of sympathy is all important. If the 
friend is deeply attached then he will be true. He will 
remain with one and sever his friendships with the rival 
camp. Such a friend is the ideal. He has honour and manli 
ness. But without actually forfeiting his honour he may 
through skilful evasion manage to maintain his friendships 
with both sides. These people are famed for the skill with 


which they dissimulate their feelings. Outsiders who come 
from other parts of Spain to Alcala complain of the "in 
directness" of the Andalusians. "You never know where you 
are with them. They will never tell you anything to your face. 
They will always be charming to you and then behind your 
back they will betray you." But this histrionic capacity does 
not mean that they have not strong feelings which they take 
pleasure in expressing. Hence the importance of gossip. 
People spend their time discussing how X spoke of Y, how 
he looked when Z's name was mentioned. Friends inform 
each other who speaks well and who badly of them behind 
their back: Every conversation is determined by the relation 
ships of the members of the audience. In this way the process 
of re-alignment is carried on. Yet there are also true friend 
ships, founded upon affection and esteem, which approxi 
mate to the ideal and endure a lifetime. Only they are few. 
For the struggle for life too easily brings in what one might 
call the reversed principle of friendship, where considera 
tions of interest dictate the expression of esteem. 

The practical utility of such a system is very great. It is a 
commonplace that you can get nothing done in Andalusia 
save through friendship. It follows then that the more 
friends a man can claim the greater his sphere of influence; 
the more influential his friends are the more influence he has. 
Friendship is thereby connected with prestige, and boastful 
characters like to assert how many friends they have, how ex 
tensive is the range of their friendships. So while friendship 
is in the first place a free association between equals, it 
becomes in a relationship of economic inequality the founda 
tion of the system of patronage. The rich man employs, 
assists and protects the poor man, and in return the latter 
works for him, gives him esteem and prestige, and also 
protects his interests by seeing that he is not robbed, by 
warning him of the machinations of others and by taking his 
part in disputes. The relationship of padrino and hombre de 
confianza is a kind of lop-sided friendship from which the 
element ofsimpatia is by no means excluded, though it may 
happen that, owing to the paradox already discussed, the 
appearance of friendship be used to cloak a purely venal 
arrangement, a rich man using his money to attain his ends. 


There appears to have been a change in the evolution of 
caciquismo of which the system of patronage was the core, 
from the first type of patronage to the second. In the early 
period cacique appears to have meant no more than a person 
of local prestige, and one finds a young man in a novel of 
Juan Valera 1 boasting that his father is the cacique of the 
pueblo, yet by the end of its course it has become a term of 
opprobrium meaning a briber and corrupter, the employer 
of the matin (bully). 2 

There are many situations in which the patrono or padrino 
is of value. 3 He is not only able to favour his protege within 
the pueblo. It is, above all, his relationship to the powers 
outside the pueblo which gives him value. For example, a 
patrono is required to sign the application for an old-age 
pension, testifying that the applicant was once employed by 
him. Many such applications are signed by persons who 
never in fact employed the applicant. He who can find no 
one to sign gets no pension. The padrino can give letters of 
recommendation to people who will do favours for him, who 
will protect his proteges. 

The story of a dispute in the valley can be used to illustrate 
the values of friendship and authority in action. Fernando 
Pifias, who has been, mentioned already, is a wealthy miller 
and farmer, a syndical chief, and, though in his way of life a 
member of the pueblo (plebs), he is a close friend of the mayor 
and a person of local consequence. Thanks to his friendships 
outside the pueblo he is able to empadrinar the victims of the 

1 J. Valera, Pepita Jimenez (Madrid, 1873). 

2 Cf. Pio Baroja, Cesar o Nada, translated as Caesar or nothing (New York 1922). 

3 The power of patronage in former times was certainly greater than it is 
today. Zugasti (Julian Zugasti, El Bandolerismo (Madrid, 1876)) explains the 
power which it had in relation to the law during his governorship of the 
province of Cordoba. 

The copla of Gurro Lopez, a bandit of the first half of the nineteenth 
century, written while he awaited his execution, speaks of the influence which 
a powerful patroness once had : 

" Ya se muri6 mi madrina "Now my madrina has died 
La Duquesita de Alba The dear Duchess of Alba 

i Si ella no se me muriera Had she not died on me 
a mi no me ajusticiaran ! " They would never condemn me to 

death !" 
(Quoted by G. Bernaldo de Quirosy L. Ardila, El Bandolerismo (Madrid, 1931.) 


focdia. The miller who is caught milling tells his friend 
Fernando. Fernando is friendly with one of the inspectors. 
He choses an occasion to see him and plead the case of the 
miller. The inspector, it must be remembered, is entitled to a 
percentage of the fine. But friendship can arrange such matters. 

His neighbour, Curro, is a craftsman who lives on a small 
irrigated huerto which is his own property. He is the son of a 
miller, and after his father's death his step-mother sold the 
mill which lies within the huerto to Fernando Pifias. This 
occasioned a quarrel, for Curro hoped to buy it from her and 
claims that he had the money to do so at the time. In any 
case, Fernando Pinas refused to let Curro buy it back once 
it had been sold to him. Today it is run by Alonso, who 
exploits it on a profit-sharing basis with the owner. Alonso 
and Curro are next-door neighbours and friends. The water 
course of the valley called El Rio and that called the 
Arroyo del Chaparral unite in the garden of Curro. Fernando 
Pinas' olive-mill called "Molino del Juncal" is placed upon 
the Arroyo, but his grain-mill, occupied by Alonso, is 
situated lower and is served by both waters. From that point 
the channel descends, passing through a series of mills and 
huertos. The first mill is owned by Curro' s first cousin and 
compadre, Pepe. Curro is friendly with all the millers for he is 
a fine workman and specialises in work on mills. Some way 
farther down is the huerto of Manuel el Conde (the Count), 
an independent very small farmer, a recognised authority on 
agricultural matters and a close friend of Curro's. 

Situated immediately above Curro's huerto is an improvised 
acre of irrigation on the property belonging to the wife of 
Juanito Sanchez who farms it. This is one of the huertos 
which have been made during the past ten years "con agua 
robada" ("with stolen water") and which have no title 
either in the eyes of tradition or the law. It takes the spare 
water from the main stream. Curro's huerto, on the other 
hand, is an old one with as good a title to its water as any 
in the valley, and he has resented the appearance of this new 
one which threatens in a dry year to leave him short of water. 

I can offer no assurance of the accuracy of the facts in 
the story which follows, quite apart from the deliberate 
changes made in the interest of discretion. The facts were 



which loses 
its woter 

The part of 



S which loses 

its wafer 


selected first of all by my own range of personal contacts and 
friendships, secondly by my own judgement as to what was 
true and what was significant. This was not easy for it is 
characteristic that everyone tells a quite different story, 

"Is it not possible to know the truth in such cases?" I 
once asked in despair. "Very rarely/' I was told, "for where 
money is concerned there is no such thing as the truth. He 
who has the money is always right." This, as will be seen, is a 
somewhat cynical exaggeration, but it typifies the view of 
those who regard the actual state of society as evil. They are 
by no means only those whose sympathies remain with the 
"Reds 53 . 

If there is little prohibition in this system of values 
against taking liberties with the truth, there is a very strong 
one against passing gossip whether it be truth or falsehood. 
The word alcahueta, which in the dictionary means in its 
primary sense a procureuse, is used in Alcala in the derived 
sense of a correveidile, a "run-see-and-tell", a gossip. It is a 
term of heavy moral reproach, for it means a defaulter in the 
obligations of "neighbourliness", one of the most important 
of which is discretion. Gossiping is shameless behaviour, and 
the accusation of it even couched in euphemistic terms may 
provoke a violent quarrel. Yet the strength of opprobrium 
which attaches to it does not suffice to ensure people's silence 
but only to make them careful about what they say and to 
whom, for it is an offence only against the person betrayed. 
In the eyes of the person to whom it is tpld it is a sign of 
confidence ; to the teller it affords a pleasure which is hard to 
resist. Hence the rhyme which says : 

"No hay Sabado sin sol "There is no Saturday with 
out sun 

Ni rnocita sin amor Nor young girl without love 

Ni viejo sin dolor Nor old man without pains 

Ni forastero que no sea de Nor outsider who is not a 

buena gente good fellow 

Ni viejo que no haya Nor old boy who has not 

sido valiente been a hero 

Ni campana sin lengueta Nor bell without a clapper 

Ni vieja que no sea alca- Nor old woman who is not a 

hueta." gossip." 


The issues involved in this story were ones which, for 
obvious reasons, could not be spoken of save in confidence, 
and the difficulties of the field- worker under such circum 
stances may, to some extent, excuse the incompleteness of his 
information. However, it must be remembered that this is 
not the analysis of a point of law but of conflicting human 
relations, and the emotional attitudes which are provoked 
are therefore as relevent as the hard facts. (I make no attempt 
either to condone or condemn the actions of the participants, 
nor the moral values, nor the legal system involved.) This is 
what happened : 

A dispute arose between Fernando Pinas and Juanito 
when the former sent men to put the stream bed of the Rio 
in order at the point where the channel leads off to Juanito's 
huerto. The land belongs on one side of the stream to Fernan 
do and he asserted that water was being lost there. (Frequent 
repairs are required if this is not to happen.) This water does 
not affect his olive-mill which stands on the Arroyo, but it 
must be remembered that he also owns the mill of Alonso 
and has an interest in its exploitation. Each miller is re 
sponsible for the stretch of channel immediately above his 
mill. Fernando's men repaired the channel by cutting off the 
corner and bringing the water down a slightly shorter course 
on the near edge of the stream-bed which is some thirty 
metres wide at that point. This left Juanito's huerto high and 
dry, and he complained bitterly, but since he had no title 
to water he had poor grounds for complaint. His wife and 
daughter went down to the edge of their land on the stream- 
bank and threw stones at the men working. Fernando asked 
for protection for his ijien, and a pair of Civil Guards were 
sent to restore order. Juanito's wife then refrained from 
throwing stones, but kept up a flow of brightly coloured 
abuse for- some time before retiring. No one supported 
Juanito for it was in the interest of all that the channel should 
be repaired and shortened. Curro, in spite of his enmity with 
Fernando, admitted that his action was correct in this 
instance. He was, in fact, delighted to see Juanito's huerto 
eliminated, though he remained distrustful of Fernando. 
Not without difficulty, Juanito made a new channel for his 
huerto and continued to irrigate it. 

p.s. 10 


The following year Fernando's real objective is revealed : 
he intends to divert the waters of the Rio from a point some 
400 yards above Gurro's huerto and bring it down to join 
forces with that of the Arroyo above the mill of the Juncal 
The power of the mill would thus be doubled. But Juanito's 
garden once more loses its water. However, in the meantime 
Fernando has come to terms secretly with Juanito, and a 
contract has been signed between the two, for part of the 
ground over which Fernando will make the new watercourse 
belongs to Juanito's wife. This contract was not made easily. 
Fernando offered a good price for the field in question or 
offered to exchange it for land elsewhere, but both offers 
were refused. The final contract gives him no land in posses 
sion but costs him as much as if he were buying Juanito's 

With his flank secured, as it were, Fernando sets his men 
to work in the autumn to build the new channel. He does 
not build it out of concrete straight away but^nakes it in an 
improvised manner to try out not only the technical factors 
in the scheme but also,, perhaps, the reaction of his neigh- ' 

The person whom, apart from Juanito, this change in the 
flow of water affects, is Curro. The upper end of his huerto 
is too high to be irrigated by the channel of the Arroyo, 
which now carries both streams. About three-quarters of an 
acre loses its water and it is thought that the fruit-trees 
planted there will die. The millers down below are also 
concerned, for it appears likely that for technical reasons 
they will lose water (meaning power) for their mills. 

There is an outcry, led by Curro, but Fernando reassures 
the millers, explaining that they will not lose but gain water 
since he is going to build the channel in concrete, and the " 
water will come down quicker and with less loss in the channel 
than in the stream-bed. (This is true.) It is also likely that 
this latest development comes as no surprise to a number of 
millers whose reactions have been secretly tested in advance. 
Very soon only two millers continue to support Curro, one of 
them Pepe, his first cousin and compadn. Curro makes a 
denunciation to the Town Hall and is told that he must 
serve notice on Fernando to the effect that his garden is 


being damaged by this action. Curro sends Manuel the Count 
and the brother of Alonso. The latter fails to appear at the 
rendezvous and Manuel goes alone. Fernando makes an 
offer of compensation which Curro proudly refuses. It appears 
to have been a not ungenerous offer, but Curro asserts that 
he is not asking for alms but wishes only to keep intact the 
huerto which is his patrimony. After this Manuel no longer 
supports him. His attitude towards Fernando has always 
been somewhat ambiguous. On the one hand he proclaims 
himself Fernando's disciple and is on terms of friendship 
with him, while on the other he enjoys speaking evil of him 
with Curro and sympathising with the latter in his ancient 
grudge. Now that the test case comes he deserts Curro 
and sides with Fernando. Curro complains bitterly of his 
falseness adding certain assertions regarding his family 
life which reflect gravely upon his moral character. 
There appears to be no foundation for these assertions, 
which concern his future intentions as well as his past, 
but they effectively demonstrate his fundamental shame- 

Curro then goes to the pueblo with Pepe and asks the 
corporal of the Civil Guard to have the work stopped. The 
corporal says that he cannot take action in such a matter, 
being a civil matter, without the instructions of the mayor. 
Curro next goes to the mayor who says he is not competent 
to take action without instructions from the Hydrographic 
Commission in Seville. He considers rallying his supporters 
and going by night to destroy the work which has been done, 
and set the river back on its course. But in spite of all his 
warnings of the growing power of Fernando and his assurances 
that once he has both waters he will become all-powerful and 
will crush them all, the millers make no response and even 
his second supporter, a miller, begins to dissociate himself 
from Curro. Cutro now has only his compadre, Pepe. Alonso 
remains on friendly terms but says openly that Curro's 
demands are exaggerated. Curro is bitterly disappointed and 
talks of leaving the pueblo and going to work in Algeciras. 
He proposes selling the huerto to a friend, saying that he 
would sell it him for a moderate price but that Fernando 
should not have it for a million pesetas, He insists at some 


length with his friend. Alonso overhears this conversation 
and goes to tell Fernando. This satisfies Fernando that he is 
winning the dispute. In due course the news that Alonso has 
informed to Fernando reaches Gurro and gives him further 
reason to complain of the falseness and cowardice of man 
kind. After this Alonso no longer comes to sit in Curro's 

Curro is at this time working upon some repairs in the 
mill of the Pileta and he takes his problem to Don Antonio. 
The previous year has seen bad relations between the Juncal 
and the Pileta. Fernando Pinas has been charging a more 
favourable rate for milling and has captured trade from the 
Pileta. He has been raided by the chief inspector and caught 
with contraband oil, and has incurred a heavy fine in conse 
quence. Popular opinion attributes the action of the inspec 
tors to the instigation of Don Antonio. Curro's personal ideas 
and his family tradition are very much at variance with Don 
Antonio's, yet he is confident of finding an ally here. He 
contrasts the education and refinement of Don Antonio 
with the brutishness of his enemy, and quotes a former 
summer visitor of high social position as saying that Fernando 
was "unworthy of the capital which he possessed", and had 
been a turncoat in the war. 

Don Antonio offers sympathy and gives advice to the 
effect that he make no attempt to do anything more in the 
pueblo but go straightaway to the Hydrographic Commission 
in Seville, for in the pueblo "everyone listens to Fernando". 
It becomes evident, however, that Don Antonio, while he 
would be glad to see Curro successful, is not prepared to 
become involved in any way himself. Curro therefore goes to a 
lawyer in Ronda of whom he has heard to take advice and 
prepare his case. The lawyer looks into the matter and says 
there is a good case. There is no need to go to Seville, for it 
is against the law to divert a watercourse without the proper 

Fernando is meanwhile continuing the work and, confident 
that he has the situation in hand, is spending money on it. 
He has not found it possible to take the water by the route 
originally planned and has had to take it from farther up 
stream and blast a piece of rock. Juanito has noted this but 


makes no move to support Curro in his protest. Fernando is 
satisfied that he has the support of the valley and that he 
will be able to square the Hydrographic Commission after 
wards. This is the way things are done, he says. First you do 
the work and then you get permission to do it. Otherwise 
they would keep you waiting for ever. As for his antagonist, 
Curro, he has nothing but scorn for him : 

"I have no wish to humiliate the man, but he has an 
envious nature. I have offered to pay compensation or to 
buy the land, but he will not listen to me. He guards an 
old grudge against me and will not live like a good 
neighbour. Moreover his grudge was groundless in the 
first place for the mill belonged not to his father but to his 
step-mother by inheritance from her parents. She was 
very good to him and treated him like her own child if not 
better, but he was ungrateful. When she wished to sell her 
mill why should she not sell it to me instead of keeping it 
for her step-son? He envies me my wealth, but I have 
worked hard to get it. If he wishes to get wealthy he should 
do the same. I am up at seven every morning and busy 
straightaway, but his workshop does not open till eleven 
o'clock and some mornings not at all, for he is engaged in 
plotting and in going to visit lawyers to see whether he 
cannot take advantage of me. He is a fool. He should 
spend his money on his wife and children and not on 
lawyers or the poor little things will find themselves with 
no bread to eat. But what can I do about that ? They are 
not my children, they are his." 

Curro, meanwhile, is encouraged by the lawyer's opinion 
that he has a good case and exults in the humiliation which 
he is going to inflict on Fernando. He is by no means fully 
confident, however, and comes to see a friend in search of 
encouragement. The friend gives his sincere advice : to distrust 
lawyers and use the strength of his legal position in order to 
exact generous compensation from Fernando. He warns him 
that the result of going to court may well not be favourable 
to him, and that a court-case based upon the extremely un 
certain water-rights of the valley is liable to provoke trouble 
for everyone and make him very unpopular. Even though he 
might win the case he might stir up such a fuss that he could 
not subsequently get legalisation for the water-wheel which 


he is installing for the machinery of his shop. Curro does not 
appreciate this line of argument for he has made up his mind 
to fight. His point of view varies from: "Let us see whether 
there is Justice in Spain ! " to " Now Fernando is going to have 
to pay all the wrongs he has done me in the last ten years ! " 
He is scornful at the idea of receiving alms at the hands of 
Fernando. All he wants is his rights. If Fernando wants to 
climb down he can pay 25,000 pesetas (about three times 
what the land is worth to buy) that is only a small part of 
the money he is going to make with the extra power in his 
mill. He can well afford such a sum if he wishes to have the 
water which belongs to another. 

The case is tried in Alcala. Curro loses and must pay all 
the costs including Fernando's. His plea is dismissed on the 
grounds that he had given previous permission for the work to 
be done and consequently had renounced his right to 
damages. This permission was said to have been given at a 
syndical meeting of the water-users in the town hall. Curro 
denies that the subject was ever raised in his presence at that 
meeting. Testimony was given by two leading figures in 
syndical affairs. Curro maintains that one of them was not 
even present at the meeting in question. The witnesses were 
not cross-examined, and Curro believes that his lawyers 
were bribed by the other side. He complains privately to the 
judge afterwards who says : " What can I do ? I can only give 
judgement according to the law and on the evidence which 
is presented." Curro thereafter agrees that it is not the 
judge's fault if Justice has gone astray. 

Curro is now outraged^ humiliated and ruined. He says 
he must sell the huerto to pay his debts and will not stay longer 
in Alcala. In fact he sells a house he owns in the pueblo 
which is let and borrows money from the Monte de Piedad, 
a loan secured by the faithful Pepe. In spite of the quarrel 
and the court's decision he still hopes that Fernando will pay 
his own costs and is galled by the latter' s refusal. As regards 
damages Fernando says, not to Curro but to others, that he 
will wait and see how much Curro's huerto does in fact suffer, 
and will give him compensation then. Curro's lawyer accepts 
a slightly reduced fee in, view of the lack of success of the suit. 

Fernando has defended his position. "Now that fellow 


does what he likes in the valley/' says Curro. "Now he has 
the water he will extend his huerta. The one he has was built 
up illicitly, and who is going to question his rights now they 
have seen what has happened to me." Curro considers the 
possibility of an appeal and of taking the matter up in Seville 
but decides against it. He attributes his failure chiefly to 
the dishonesty of his lawyers who dissuaded him from going 
to Seville in the first place, and subsequently betrayed him in 
failing to cross-examine the witnesses in the case in Alcala. 
Six months later he feels better about it and jokes sourly 
that he thought he had caught Fernando out but the latter 
turned out to be too cunning for him. He may be as rough as a 
donkey, but for cunning subterfuge there is no one like him, 
Curro says. 

Fernando's position is not as impregnable as all that. 
During this time the wife of Juanito has returned to the 
charge. Her contract with Fernando though generously paid 
has not been observed strictly, and her husband, acting on 
her behalf, has brought a case against Fernando for breach of 
contract and damage to her property. Gurro and his compadre 
"el Ranchero", ("the cottager") are hombres buenos, and it 
may be a bitter satisfaction to Curro that this time Fernando 
is defeated. The case is tried in Alcala, and Fernando must 
pay damages and costs. 

The pueblo is glad to see the powerful man defeated, but 
the action of Juanito does not inspire any admiration nor is 
there much sympathy for Curro. His old grudge is well 
known, and it is generally recognised that he was out for 
revenge more than for anything else. The corporal's analysis 
of the situation reflects a generally recognised aspect. He says 
that the wife of Juanito is a lady who thought that she had 
found "a breast to suckle her", i.e. a situation out of which 
she could get something for nothing. She did in fact find it 
but Curro, who thought that he had found the same, missed 
it. On the other hand Fernando, although his power is 
resented by the pueblo on principle, is respected for his 
ability and his general conformity to the moral standards of 
the pueblo. The law and morality are not the same thing. Yet 
no one is sorry for him on account of his exploitation by 
Juanito, either. It is up to him to know how to manage these 


things. As one of his admirers remarked: "That will teach 
him to think that he can do everything in the pueblo. He will 
be sorry that he didn't go to Seville and fix things properly 
before he started, for he could have done so. He has friends 
there. 55 

Fernando's power depends upon his position in syndical 
affairs and as a former mayor of Alcala, upon his being 
able to get things done, upon his influence with people and 
upon their allegiance to him. He is at the same time a 
member of the ruling group and also of the pueblo (plebs), 
(just as the mayor is at the same time part of the local com 
munity and also a member of the provincial deputation). If 
he were to lose the valley's allegiance to him he would among 
other things be of no further use to the mayor, therefore he 
cannot antagonise the valley. As has been pointed out 
already, he is invaluable to the millers as their spokesman and 
defender during the difficult times. He wants the water, but 
it is not only contrary to law to divert it, but, far more 
important, contrary to the tradition of the valley. On the 
other hand it damages only two people, and he is willing 
to compensate them generously. It may be significant also 
that, by bringing the waters of the Rio to the mill of the 
Juncal, it gives Fernando an official claim to them which 
the millers of the upper valley do not have. This gives him 
the right to complain of the abuses of the hortelanos. He has 
clearly been thinking of this manoeuvre for years, as his 
attempts to obtain possession of the land above the stream 
have shown. He paid a very high price indeed for one piece 
of land. 

His first move successfully split Juanito and Curro. They 
do not support each other in resisting him until the very end, 
when Juanito may have found difficulty in finding anyone to 
stand as hombre bueno for him. Morally, Juanito's position is 
weak from the start on account of the nature of his huerto, 
founded upon stolen water. On the other hand, the fact 
that he has had it long enough to grow fruit-trees, even 
though they are still small, gives him a certain moral right on 
xde facto basis. In the first incident he gained no sympathy, 
for it was up to him to get his water without prejudice to the 
community. Subsequently, Fernando paid him generously 


for his interest. No one would have been sorry if he had lost 
his case. 

Morally, Curro's case appears at first sight much stronger 
than Juanito's. It is the case of a powerful man attempting to 
override the rights of a neighbour. But Curro's action in 
refusing to consider an arrangement is unneighbourly, and 
his case is spoilt in the eyes of the pueblo by the vindictiveness 
which inspires him. His friendships are much more restricted 
for he is a poor man and commands little influence. His only 
strength is the support of his neighbours. While they felt 
themselves threatened, not knowing whether Fernando's 
scheme would turn out favourably to them or not, and felt 
that Curro was being victimised, they were prepared to 
support him. When Fernando reassured them that they would 
gain and not lose water, and when Curro refused to consider 
compensation, they were glad to reaffirm their solidarity 
with Fernando, even though they disapprove of the violation 
of the tradition upon which they depend for the security of 
their water. Not only is Fernando their spokesman, but they 
are all tied to him by obligations of friendship. " Fernando is 
a good friend, a good neighbour. He gives much. He has 
everybody in his debt. 53 In view of his past kindness it would 
be shameless of them to go against him, moreover it would 
be impolitic. Curro's only allies are his cousin and compadre, 
Pepe, and a miller who is inspired chiefly by jealousy of 
Fernando and who soon withdraws when he sees the other 
millers are with Fernando and "el Ranchero". 

This man is compadre of Curro's uncle though Curro calls 
him compadre. He lives high up on the hill-side where he works 
at plaster burning. He is poor and without ambition, very 
proud and dependent on the favour of no man. He is the 
champion of equity, the enemy of corruption. He is quite 
uneducated, but he is feared for his outspokeness. It is his 
uncouthness and perhaps also his unwillingness to enter the 
system of reciprocal favours which has earned him the 
additional nickname of "the Bumpkin". He speaks much in 
moral sayings and laments the state of his country, but he 
is not a "Red". On the contrary, during the war he led a 
party of refugees from the Anarchist terror up into the 
mountains and hid them there, keeping them supplied with 


food. The story is told of how an official attempted to extort an 
illicit charge from him. He thumped the table and, in a 
voice that the whole pueblo could hear, he bellowed: "In 
this place there is neither mayor, nor manliness, nor shame ! " 
The terrified official explained that he had made a mistake 
in his demand. He, it was, who took Curro's part in his 
first quarrel with Fernando over the sale of the mill. He 
remains with Curro throughout this quarrel, the dis 
interested friend. 

It can be seen that " el Ranchero ", the enemy of the system 
of patronage, retains his independence through remaining 
outside the system. His position as an independent craftsman 
with a virtual monopoly enables him to do this. He neither 
employs people nor is employed, he does not use water, he 
does not market his produce. People send a donkey for his 
plaster when they need it, and the demand is fairly steady. 
No doubt the independence of craftsmen generally accounts 
for the fact that the majority of the Anarchist leaders in the 
pueblos of the sierra came from that class. 

The institution of friendship, based upon the moral notion 
of equality and the free exchange of favour, builds up, in 
situations of material inequality, a structure of patronage 
which links up the authority of the state through the 
economic power of certain individuals to the network of 
neighbourly relations. To make the point plainer: taking the 
incident described above, the powerful and wealthy Fernando 
Pinas is able to effect an improvement, to his own advantage, 
in the use of the waters of the valley at the expense of the 
rights of two persons of small importance, of whom, one, 
through a timely recourse to the law, manages to obtain ample 
compensation for the loss of his stolen water and the violation 
of his land, while the other, whose title to compensation for 
the loss of water was good, was defeated by a chanchullo (a 
dirty trick). In fact the corporal who placed the two in the 
same category was wrong. Curro did not seek, like Juanito, 
to exploit the violation of his rights, but to challenge the 
system of patronage. For this reason he was crushed. Fernando 
was able to defeat him owing to the support which he re 
ceived from the authorities and also from the rest of the com- 


munity, which remains loyal to him, thanks to the service 
which he renders in their relations with the source of 
authority and to his private generosity, a generosity which he 
is well able to afford in view of the advantages which he 
stands to gain. 

In such a system the moralist may see a systematic abuse 
of principles; the social anthropologist,, avoiding moral 
judgements, sees only the delegation of certain functions of 
representation through the medium of wealth and prestige. 
For reasons which will not be discussed here, 1 the law 
commands something which is highly prejudicial to the 
economy of the local community. The resulting conflict is 
resolved through a social personality who possesses an 
effective relationship with the pueblo, with the ruling 
group of the pueblo and with the representatives of the law 
outside the pueblo. Put in another way, the tension between 
the state and the community is balanced in the system of 
patronage. The element of balance in the situation becomes 
clearer when the relationship between the inspector and the 
pueblo is looked at through the inspector's eyes. If he pursued 
his duties with too much vigour he would, if he were 
successful, do the millers out of business altogether, They 
would stop milling, and he would get no more fines. He would 
deprive himself of a source of income which he needs, for he 
is poorly paid; he would ruin good men; and he would 
make enmities for himself, for those men have friends and 
padrinos. On the other hand, if he left the millers undisturbed 
he would not be taking full advantage of his position and 
he would not be thought by his superiors to be doing his 
job. Through the system of patronage the will of the state 
is adapted to the social structure of the pueblo. But patron 
age is only one aspect of the relationship between the two, 
and the incident which we have considered brought into 
sight only that part of the organisation of the state which 
is concerned with economic controls, the most recent and 
least essential of its organs, and one which at the present 
time is being greatly curtailed. In apposition to the structure 
of friendship built up from personal relations in the pueblo, 

1 The official reason given is that the primitive mills of the valley arc un 
economical with the grain and cause additional waste in a time of shortage. 


there can be seen to exist a structure of authority devolving 
from the central state and defined explicitly by its laws. 

To distinguish the two structures is to make an abstraction, 
of course. The corporal has his friendships, however vulner 
able they may be to the demands of duty, and connives at the 
activities of the millers. The humblest member of the 
community depends upon the law. The two systems inter 
lock, not as juxtaposed groups of personalities but as juxta 
posed systems of sanctions which operate with relative force 
upon the individual in every situation, and define, through 
the balance they strike, his social personality. We are dealing 
not with rival groups but with rival, and not always rival 
but often allied, systems of relationships. 

Manners, friendship, the idiom of daily contact are based 
upon a respect for others, a recognition of their right to 
pride. This recognition is part of the egalitarianism of the 
pueblo. But reciprocal service cannot assure concord in every 
situation. Where two wills are in conflict one must overrule the 
other. The other must be humiliated. They can be neigh 
bours no longer. Fernando says, specifically, "I do not wish 
to humiliate him" when envisaging his victory over Curro. 
The lieutenant of the Civil Guard has not such concern in 
his relations with members of the community. He speaks 
another language. "It may be different in your country/ 3 
he explains to the anthropologist, "the Spaniard requires 
authority if he is to achieve anything." He illustrates what 
he means with a gesture of the hand, that which is used in 
threatening children with punishment. This opinion might 
be taken to express nothing more than the contempt of a 
person in authority for the people over whom he exercises 
it. That he is feared and hated by the majority of the pueblo 
there is no doubt, but the same belief is found among the 
very people who resent his authority. Every family must have 
a head who is obeyed, they say. A father who has no authority 
over his family, a husband who has none over his wife, is 
despised. Every property must have an owner. Every pueblo 
must have an alcalde., a mayor, a person whose authority is 
the guarantee of order, a person worthy of respect, whose 
superiority makes it no humiliation to submit to him. Hence 
"el Ranchero's" outcry that since there was corruption in 


the pueblo, it had neither authority nor manliness nor shame. 
Authority is the guardian of the social virtues just as, within 
the family, it is the guardian ofverguenza ; and it is a necessity, 
else the passionate egoism of men will carry the society into 
chaos. Therefore the dictator, the embodiment of authority, 
violates no value sacred to the social order l when he seizes 
power, but, rather, he reasserts one whose failure has brought 
society in danger of collapse. When General Primo de Rivera 
came to power it was to save the country from this danger, 
and the pueblo was well impressed by his first act which was 
to put all the caciques in jail. The old inn-keeper of the inn 
opposite the barracks of the Civil Guard smiles happily 
when he remembers the day when " there were forty-five 
guests across the road " . All the prominent political personages 
otthepartido were imprisoned in Alcala for a few days. The 
pueblo, unlike the urban middle-classes, never reproached 
him with the destruction of constitutional government, 
which to them meant only caciquismo. 

The idiom of command contrasts with that of friendship. 2 
There comes the point when the pretences are dropped and 
the realities of power come into the open. An order is an 
order and not the request for a favour, and there can be no 
mistaking which is meant. The brusqueness of the former 
emphasises that it is based not upon any idea of reciprocity or 
sympathy but upon the unilateral force of coercion. Within 
the authoritarian situation the inferior is not entitled to feel 
pride. If he does, it is not legitimate self-esteem but soberbia. 
The second person singular is used here, not as a sign of 
confianza but, as in an army command, as a sign that no 
respect is accorded to the person addressed. But, on the other 
hand, he in whom authority is vested must possess the 
necessary manliness in order that he may be submitted to 
without humiliation. He who, for the sake of the principle 
of authority, viewed as socially good, submits to the per 
son of "prestige through manliness" participates in his 

1 Cf. Guglielmo Ferrero, The Principles of Power (New York, 1942), for a 
somewhat fanciful view of the different values which attach to the exercise of 
political power in different European countries. Ferrero postulates "principles 
of legitimacy". 

2 This contrast is brought out in a dramatic passage in Zugasti's El Bando- 
lerismo where the author describes his first interview with "el Nino". 


commanders manliness and is not humiliated. Among the 
many popular songs sung in the valley is a copla upon a 
former dictator c el mas valiente de Espana" ("the most 
valiant man of Spain"). But at the same time, within the 
value system of the pueblo, the mystique of authority is 
accompanied by exultation in the rebelliousness of the 
Spanish pueblo. Another copla of an earlier century was 
once quoted to me : 

"Dice, cuando vino a "They said, when there came 

Espafia to Spain 

el rey invicto Amade The unconquered king 

A Espafia no le gobierna You are not able to govern 

the Spaniards, 
Ni tampoco el Hucife." Nor is Lucifer either." 

It is this rebelliousness which makes authority necessary 
it is thought and the converse is equally true. 

There exists, then, in the political structure of the pueblo 
two principles each attaching to a different aspect of social 
life. The principles of equality and authority. The former is 
associated with the relationship of neighbours, of people who 
live together in the pueblo. Equality has already been shown 
to be the essence of neighbourly relations and the sanctions of 
personal contact, jealousies, gossip and so forth prescribe it. 
A person's verguenza is what makes him sensitive to these 
sanctions, and the matrilineal nature of vergtienza as well as 
the fact that neighbourly relations are largely conducted by 
women cause them to be particularly associated with the 
female sex. The principle of authority, on the other hand, is 
particularly associated with the male sex. And the quality of 
manliness is that which justifies its subjection of neighbourly 
values, for it is recognised as necessary to defend the social 
order and enforce the rule of right. 

This is the ideal picture of the moral values of the pueblo, 1 

i It is interesting to observe that they are also those of Father Juan de 
Mariana, De regis et rege institutione (1599) . Spanish translation^ Qbr&$ del Padre 
Juan de Mariana (Madrid, 1864), both as regards the nature of authority and 
its relationship to equality, and also as regards the rights and duties 
associated with fichus. Typically also, Mariana applauded the rebels of 
Fuenteovejuna in his Ihistory of Spain. 


and if political authority enforced them all would be well. 
However, authority belongs to the state, and, so far from 
enforcing the rule of right, it frequently appears to the pueblo 
to enforce the opposite. Authority, in the eyes of many, does 
not enjoy the legitimacy which would make it the defender 
of vergiienza, and it is wielded for the most part by outsiders 
who do not belong to the pueblo. For this reason matters of 
government are regarded by many, in the tradition which 
comes down from the days ofcaciquismo > as the business of the 
state not of the pueblo, as something dangerous and im 
moral which sensible people have nothing to do with, Those 
who took part in anarchist politics under the republic are 
recalled as "those who had ideas". 

"When they ask me to vote/' an old farmer said, "I ask 
who for, and when they tell me who for, I vote. And if they 
doix't ask me to vote I stay at home and mind my own 
business. 93 


Law and Morality 
(i) Nicknames and the Vito 

THE RELATIONSHIP between law and morality poses 
problems which have preoccupied jurists and philosophers 
for centuries, and which the anthropologist habitually side 
steps by maintaining that in primitive society the distinction 
between the two cannot profitably be made. Neither can be 
said to have emerged from the mother-concept of custom. 
The jural rules of simple autonomous peoples are carried by 
the memories of the elders of the community, but the laws of 
a civilised country are codified by a central power and must 
be applicable to a great variety of communities, varied both 
as regards their local culture and also their social status, and 
it is hardly surprising if they do not suffice in themselves 
to give a complete picture of what the anthropologist, in 
contrast to the political philosopher, calls political structure. 
The political philosopher sees only the framework of legisla 
tion ; the anthropologist must search for a system of human 
relations. The data- which he considers must include not only 
the overt framework of law but also the discreet social 
relations through which it is interpreted. For this reason it 
has been necessary in dealing with political structure to 
devote some space to the institution of friendship. (Whether or 
not it is properly named an institution is a point which need 
not delay us.) It is in no way formalised, and the very am 
biguities which enclose it have been shown to relate to its 
role within the structure. It belongs not to the legislative 
framework, but to another set of relations having their 
origin not in the state but in the values of inter-personal 
behaviour, and prescribing conduct, not through the sanctions 
or organised force, but through those of community. The two 
sets of sanctions are quite distinct and so, to the people of 
the Sierra, are morality and law. 


The next three chapters will be devoted to the examination 
of the role, within the total social structure, of the institutions 
deriving from the community l of the pueblo (plebs] and, 
standing in opposition to the powers external to the pueblo, 
the educated and the state. This aspect of the structure of 
the whole pueblo, I have been tempted to call the " infra 
structure ", but that the word has other uses already, because 
it lies behind the formal political structure and because its 
institutions are interrelated with one another. 

Its nature is visible to begin with, in the system of naming 
people within the pueblo. How formal names are given has 
already been said. Everybody knows both his own surnames 
and usually, but not always, both those of his parents. Other 
people frequently do not know any but his Christian name, 
and they seldom know both his surnames unless they are 
closely related to him. When asked the name of the man 
who had been living opposite him, fifty yards away, for the 
last ten years (his only neighbour), the keeper of the tavern 
on the crossroads replied: "Francisco ... Francisco ... 
well, not to waste time over it, Francisco the Fishseller." 
His reluctance to use a nickname to someone as much an 
outsider as myself (with whom he was not well acquainted) 
came up against the obstacle of ignorance. He did not know 
his neighbour's name. After a further five minutes, spent 
largely thinking about the problem, he said: "His name is 
Sanchez. I know because I happen to know his son's name 
is Sanchez. " To the pueblo he was Francisco the Fishseller. 

Personal relations are conducted through Christian names 
as a general rule. The surname is not-normally used as a form 
of address though there are instances of this. (There is no 
doubt that this has been encouraged by the influence of 
military service. Boys recently returned from it show a 
tendency to use surnames.) When referring to a person behind 

i Where the word "community" is used unspecifically, as in the contrast 
between the sanctions of community and those of organised force, it is not 
intended necessarily to have a strictly territorial basis. Sanctions of community 
are those which derive from inter-personal contacts wherever they effectively 
occur, and the " community of the middle class of the province " has been shown 
to exert sanctions upon its members. The community of the pueblo (plebs) on 
the other hand specifically excludes a number of people in so far as they do not 
participate in the life of the people who live there. 

P.S. II 


his back he is distinguished by a descriptive nickname. 1 
This is never, or virtually never, used as a form of address. 
To do so would be bad manners, though exactly how bad 
would depend upon the nickname. Some are obscene and 
many are uncomplimentary. 

A person possesses, then, a Christian name by which he is 
addressed ; his surnames which are used in all his contacts 
with the legislative framework of society and the outside 
world but which may largely be ignored by the pueblo ; and 
his nickname, which the pueblo knows him by, but which he 
is supposed not to know. In fact, of course, he always does 
know it. Whenever his name is written down it must be his 
surname. His nickname is never written, for there is no 
reason to write it in the daily life of the pueblo. A single 
exception to this occurred when the Town Hall sent round 
to the millers and hortelanos the forms which required them to 
state their water-rights. The properties were in some in 
stances named, as in popular speech, by the nickname of the 
occupant. It appeared that the Town Hall did not know the 
official names of the mills and gardens in all cases and fell 
back upon the customary name. The name of the occupier 
entered on the form was always his proper name. 

Writing is an activity which links a person with the world 
of formality. People who have to do with written matters 
tend to know many more surnames, and the staff of the Town 
Hall know who is who in the whole pueblo. (No one else 
knows the surnames of the whole pueblo.) But they also 
know the nicknames and, though they tend to use surnames 
more than other people, they will use nicknames when not in 
an official position. On one occasion I was sitting in the 
casino talking of Fernadito Piiias with the town clerk. We 
moved to the town hall, and when I referred there once more 
to Fernando Pinas the town clerk answered stiffly: "Don 
Fernando Castro Menacho." He felt that it would not be 
proper to mention a person by his nickname in such a place, 
particularly a person of Fernando's standing. 

There is a feeling, not only among the officials but in the 

i A similar system of nicknames is described in Norman Douglas, Old 
Calabria (London, 1915). Douglas describes the difficulty of identifying a person 
knowing only his surname and without knowing his nickname (pp. 54-6) . 


pueblo, that nicknames are degrading and their use is a sign 
of barbarity. People feel slightly ashamed that a foreigner 
should wish to inquire into such matters, and fear that the 
pueblo will be made to sound backward and uncivilised by 
this feature. (A schoolmaster of my acquaintance even goes 
so far as to maintain that the cultural standard of the popula 
tion can make no advance while the nickname persists.) 

The majority of surnames are common ones. The average 
extension of a name within the population of the pueblo is 
i -i per cent. Some seven names claim more than 3-6 per 
cent of the population each. That is to say that about one- 
third of the population is called by one of those seven names. 
The confusion is increased by the fact that a person's 
matronym may be known but not his patronym. Yet, the 
nickname, though it fulfils the function of identifying people 
much better than does the surname, may also be hereditary, 
and in a few instances nicknames build up genealogies which 
rival surnames in their proliferation. Nearly a quarter of the 
inhabitants of the valley are either "Conde" or "Gorrino". 

First of all, the nicknames themselves. Perhaps the 
commonest type refers to appearance in a purely descriptive 
sense: "laCiega" (" The Blind Woman ")," el Bisco" ("The 
Squinting One 55 ), "los Enanos" ("The Dwarfs"), "el 
Tartamudo" ("The Stammerer") are nicknames which are 
given on the same principle as those of medieval monarchs. 
There are also those, equally descriptive, which define the 
person through his occupation: "el Panadero" ("the 
Baker 53 ), "fel Pescadero" ("the Fishseller"), "el Herrador" 
("the Blacksmith"), "el Electricista" ("the Electrician 5 '). 
Such nicknames might be taken to be little more than descrip 
tions and barely to merit inclusion under this heading, but 
that in many cases the description does not apply to them. 
"The Baker" is not a baker but a farmer. "The Little Lame 
One" walks sound. "The Toothless One" has all his teeth. 
"The Bald One" all his hair. "The Ugly One" is consider 
ably better looking than "the Pretty One". The nickname 
was given not to the man but to his parent or grandparent or 
great-grandparent. How far back they go cannot be said, for 
men have no records of their families other than their own 
memories provide and these people guard little from the past. 


Certain nicknames describe by analogy, using the names 
of animals, "el Piojo" ("the Louse"), "el Gorrino" ("the 
Piglet"), "el Rana" ("The Frog"), 1 or, by association, "el 
Peo" ("the Fart"), "el Papera" ("the Goitre"),! "el Jeta" 
("the Snout"). 1 These are already far from flattering, but a 
plainly mocking note is to be found in some : " el Rey " ("the 
King"), an illiterate small-farmer supposedly very unrefined, 
"el Monarca", "el Conde", "la Marquesa" for people who 
in all probability "gave themselves airs", "la Peseta 
Peligrosa" ("the dangerous peseta"), "la Santa" ("the 
saint"). "La Bonita de la Ribera" was given in irony to a 
lady who had goitre. Words of gypsy, known as slang, such 
as "el Choro" ("the Thief") or "el Pincho" ("The Hand 
some") refer to men who are not gypsies. Favourite terms of 
speech provide nicknames such as "Venga-venga" or 
"Justamente", which are plainly satirical in origin. Others 
inspired by some particular event are liable to be more 
damaging still: "el Cuernodeoro" ("the Horn of Gold", an 
idiomatic expression meaning a willing cuckold) was given to 
a man whose wife was the mistress of a rich man. "La 
Parrala" ("the Flirt") was the title of a song popular a few 
years ago and was given to a domineering matron of some 
fifty-five years. The more damaging and obscene names are 
very often supplementary ones, used only by persons of an 
unfriendly disposition, while friends continue to use some 
more harmless one. The niece of "el Peo" maintained that 
his nickname was "el Sacristan", though other people 
seemed to know him better by the former name. There are 
also those nicknames mentioned earlier which derive from an 
outsider's origin: "el Turco" ("the Man from Benama- 
homa"), "el Billongo" ("the Man of Villaluenga"), "el 
Malagueno", etc. Farms are commonly known by the name 
of the present or former occupier, but in certain instances the 
name of the farm has stuck to the children who were reared 
there. A man once explained at length that a certain farm 
was called "el rancho de Niebla" ("the cottage of Mist") 
because the mist hung there on winter mornings, and that 
the farmer was called Niebla from the name of his farm. In 

i The gender of the article indicates the sex of the person bearing the nick 


fact, however, Nieblas was his patronym. For patronyms and 
also matronyms are adapted to serve as nicknames. Names 
which have meaning lend themselves particularly to this, 
such as "Calle", "Valle", "Pozo" ("Street", "Valley", 
"Well"). The fact that they are "adapted to serve as nick 
names" and are not merely being used as what they are, i.e. 
surnames, can be seen from the way that the feminine is 
formed: "Dianez" becomes "Diana"; "Jarillo" becomes 
"Jarilla". In other cases are adapted from 
Christian names: "los Merchores" from Melchor, "los 
Cristos" from Cristobal, "los Estebistas" or "el Estebano" 
from Esteban, "el Amparucho" from Amparo or "la 
Currichila" from Curro. Others become recognised by a 
diminutive form of their own Christian name and are known 
by nothing else. "Currillo", for example, once a prosperous 
tenant farmer who ruined himself through drink and gaming 
and became a beggar. Another beggar is called "Juanill6n", 
a name containing both the diminutive and also the aug 
mentative termination which was once the nickname of a 
famous bandit. 

The circumstances which gave rise to many a nickname 
have long been forgotten, though people will willingly 
improvise a suitable story from their imagination. " Medio 
Pan", "Peluquin" are names whose origin has been lost. 
Others have been perverted by time; "Pataleon" from the 
Saint's name "Pantaleon" ; "el Montaburra" ("Get-on-the- 
donkey") was originally "el Mataburra" ("Kill-the- 
donkey"), a nickname earned by a man who, going home 
late one night, got his donkey stuck in a stream and, being 
drunk, left it there and went on alone. The donkey drowned. 
Others have not even any known meaning, such as "Briole" 
or "el Chamongo". 

The nicknames, being transmissible, may be applied to 
persons of either sex and may be used in the plural. The 
grammatical anomalies are endless and apparently largely 
fortuitous. The feminine tends to be formed by changing the 
terminal letter to "a" or adding an "a" as in "la Zarzala", 
"la Peluquina". "La Conda", not "la Condesa" ("the 
Countess") is the feminine form of "el Conde" ("the 
Count"). But masculine variants formed from feminine 


nouns leave the terminal "a "unaltered. The article denotes 
the sex. In some cases no variant is formed, but a person is 
referred to as "she of So-and-so" or "those of So-and-so", 

When we come to examine which nicknames are trans 
missible and according to what rules they are transmitted, 
we find them no more predictable than their grammar. 
Obscenities and those of strong personal criticism tend not 
to be transmitted though time takes the edge off them where 
they remain. Those of more than one word tend not to be 
transmitted for they are too cumbersome for general use. 
Some are invented for a person on some score or other and 
endure for a few years only, after which they give place to an 
earlier dynastic nickname. Others are supplanted by a newer 
and more libellous one. Any nickname is a potential heirloom. 
The nickname always passes with the blood, or more 
accurately perhaps (and more in keeping with the values of 
this society) through the household, for there is one case of a 
step-son receiving his step-father's nickname. In another it 
appears likely that the nickname originated with an elder 
brother. It is rare for a wife or husband to receive the nick 
name of his spouse though it may happen. Far more fre 
quently each retains his own family nickname. A nickname 
may be inherited from either parent, and there are instances 
where some children inherit from one, some from the other. 
There is a tendency for the male children to inherit the 
father's, the female children the mother's, but this is by no 
means always the case. As a consequence of this, however, 
the nickname and the patronym become separated, and 
families bearing the same nickname have different patronyms. 
Even in one instance they no longer recognised their relation 
ship as kin, though I succeeded finally in establishing that 
they were second cousins. 

It might be expected that the nickname provided a 
principle of social structure, that those who shared a nick 
name were in some way bound together by it. This is not the 
case. To possess a common nickname is no bond. "The 
Condes" or "the Gorrinos" are never spoken of in the sense 
of all those who have one or other nickname. The transmis 
sion of the nickname is seen then to derive not from any 


dynastic principle but from the family situation. A child can 
never revert to a grandparent's nickname if his parent has 
not borne it (unless, as in one instance, he was brought up by 
the grandparent). He bears his grandfather's nickname only 
because he got it from his father or mother. Any further 
extension is only the work of time and nature. A nickname 
may be said, then, to define a person in the community 
either as himself or as the son of somebody else, as a member 
of a household. A certain difference between the two types of 
nickname exists, and there are people who have both personal 
nickname and also family nickname. Jose- Maria el Conde is 
also called "Tio Bigote" ("Uncle Whiskers' 5 ) because he 
wears moustaches which is something rare among the farmers. 
As el Conde he is defined as the son of el Conde and the 
brother of Sen' Andres el Conde, and others. As Tio Bigote, 
he is defined as himself. It is significant that those persons 
who stand out by virtue of their unconventional behaviour 
usually have a personal nickname. The more conventional 
characters tend to bear the nickname of their parent. 

There is a family called "los Gorrinos" in Zahara, related 
to the Gorrinos of the valley. This is exceptional. As a rule 
a nickname is given by the pueblo to one of its members, and 
when he moves he will normally lose his nickname. To begin 
with, he is almost certain to be named according to the place 
of his origin, but later his new pueblo may find its own name 
for him. It may well not see him in the same light as the 
pueblo of his birth. It cannot, in any case, see him as the 
child of a particular household if he is a newcomer. 

The nickname defines a person in his relationship to the 
community, defines him by his origin, his family, his place of 
upbringing, his office or his outstanding characteristic in the 
eyes of the pueblo. The professional people are not given nick 
names, but are defined by their profession, "the vet", "the 
doctor", "the chemist". It is only. in this way that they 
enter the community. For the same reason the senoritos are 
seldom given nicknames. Not only are they not expected to 
take such things in good part, they do not belong to the 
pueblo (plebs) and therefore to the community which the 
nickname defines. Only one, "el Sefiorito", is called by a nick 
name, and it might be possible to see in that the recognition 


of the fact that his relationship with the community is far 
more complete than that of any of the other landowners. In 
this as in other things he is old-fashioned. The relationship 
of the senoritos to the pueblo today is far more distant and 
impersonal than it was fifty years ago. In those times they 
were part of the pueblo. Today they are not. In those days 
they were given nicknames and the father-in-law of " el 
Senorito" was referred to as "Orejon" ("Big-ear"), even 
though he was the cacique of Alcala. 

The nickname is one way in which the sanctions of the 
community operate. An ugly nickname is very much 
resented, even though it may never be used in the owner's 
presence. It was only possible to discuss "la Rabona's" with 
her after years of friendship. Then, full of self-pity, she told 
the story of its origin, rounding it off with a grand tirade 
against her neighbours and human nature in general. "All is 
envy 55 , she complained, "in this pueblo, all is envy 5 '. On the 
other hand, nicknames handed down from generations cause 
little offence. To be called "the Bald One" while you have 
your hair is no great hurt. The Condes and Corrinos are 
prepared to speak of theirs in a situation of confidence with 
a friend. On the other hand, when a nickname is used by the 
young people in the street it is not usual to answer. However, 
Isabel la Marinita says : ". . . when I hear mine said to me in 
public I answer. That does not dishonour 55 . Hers, derived 
from the patronym of a great-grandfather, can carry no 
malicious meaning, but others might not be too sure how, 
exactly, it was being said and prefer not to risk the humiliation 
of answering only to be laughed at. To hear one's nickname 
sung in the Carnaval by the anonymous mocking voices of the 
pueblo must indeed have meant humiliation. 

The compactness of the pueblo no doubt lends force to its 
sanctions. They cannot be avoided save by going away. 
Therefore the code of manners ordains that respect be main 
tained for the pride of others. Aggressive or insulting 
behaviour is very "ugly" for it is liable to lead to a quarrel. 
And quarrels are ugly. People do not "tell so-and-so what 
s I think of him" or give him "a piece of my mind"; It is true 
that fights break out sometimes among the young men during 
fiestas when much wine is drunk, but they are stopped at 


once by those present who hold back the combatants. The 
assurance that the fight will not be permitted to take place 
enables the combatants to take up a very courageous stance. 
So goes the comment of older and more cynical folk. People 
do not go outside to fight, for all violence within the pueblo 
is bad. If they resort to it at all they do so secretly, aiming 
not to triumph over an opponent but to damage him for 
their own satisfaction, ambushing him at night and throwing 
rocks on him, without ever, if possible, revealing their identity. 
Where the enmity between two individuals reaches the point 
where they can no longer keep up the fiction of amicability 
then it is explained that "Fulano y Mengano no se hablan" 
( CC X and Y do not speak with one another"). Convention 
allows them this mutual excommunication. Such people go 
to great lengths to avoid meeting and everyone respects this 
convention. A person cannot for any purpose join a group or 
go into a shop where there is someone to whom he does not 
speak. For the code of manners demands the participation in 
any gathering of those present, since the assumption that 
people are sensitive to the reaction of others is the corner 
stone on which community is built. Where they wish to score 
off one another they do so with care and subtlety, either 
speaking evil of a person behind his back or putting him to 
shame through some innuendo which can always be declared 
unintentional, and therefore innocent, if offence is taken. Yet 
this prohibition applies only between private persons, and, 
cloaked by the anonymity of group action, the harshest insult 
may be delivered. Just as the sanctions of certain primitive 
societies are exerted not through a formally ordained institu 
tion but through the violent action of the united community, 
whose members escape the guilt which such an action, indi 
vidually performed, would involve, so the pueblo, through 
the imposition of a nickname, castigates the non-conformist in 
a way which permits the individual neighbour to remain 
guiltless of the offence of rudeness. It is not Fulano nor 
Mengano who has given the nickname, but el pueblo. 

The same spirit of social satire, the same envy, inspires 
another institution which guards the moral standards of the 
pueblo, the cencerrada (literally, "the ringing of cow-bells"). 


This custom has been described at length by writers on 
European folklore, for it is not only general throughout Spain 
but it is also known in France and in other countries. It is 
similar in some respects to the public mocking which was 
formerly practised in English villages. 1 

The Andalusian cencerrada is generally described as a 
form of celebration of the remarriage of a widowed person, 
male or female. Upon the night of the wedding, the boys of 
the pueblo dance up and down the street outside the nuptial 
dwelling with cow-bells attached to their waist. They also 
blow upon cow-horns, drag strings of tins, and with the aid 
of such devices keep up a noise which ensures that there is no 
sleep all night for the newly wed couple. It was traditional in 
Alcala to put on a cencerrada upon the eve of St. Peter, and 
various occasions are celebrated in this way in other places. 
The custom does not however find favour with the legislative 
powers, and it has long been the duty of the Civil Guard to 
suppress it. It is specifically mentioned in the Penal Code 2 as 
"an offence against public order". 

It has nevertheless succeeded in enduring the displeasure 
of the forces of the law and is still practised in the pueblos of 
the sierra in Alcald under the name of el vito. In Jacinas it 
is known as la pandorga (the mobbing-up). The name el vito 
derives from a traditional dance of the same name associated, 
owing to the speed of its step, with St. Vitus. It is a popular 
dance no longer but was apparently a variety of buleria, a 
type of dance strongly infused with satire. Indeed, the words 
of the vito are clearly intended to mock. 

The custom which this appellation covers is discovered, 
upon closer examination, to be somewhat different from that 
generally described as the cencerrada. The famous vitos of 
living memory did not take place in the pueblo of Alcala, 
where the Civil Guard would presumably have suppressed 
them, but in the country, and particularly in the valley 
below the town. This was, no doubt, only due to the presence 
of the Civil Guard, for when, in 1951, the section of Civil 
Guard was withdrawn from Guadalmesi one took place 

1 Gf. the description of the "skimity-ride" in Thomas Hardy's Mayor of 
Caster bridge, or the "riding" in A. L. Rowse's Cornish Childhood. 

2 Art. 570. Gf. also E. Calatayud Sanjuan, op. cit. 9 p. 614. 


within the pueblo. In addition, they were not provoked by 
the remarriage of widowed persons but in response to the 
flagrant immorality of persons who, being married, deserted 
their family and set up house with another. It would be 
difficult to do such a thing, save quite shamelessly, within the 
pueblo, on account of the presence of neighbours. It is also 
to be noted that the Civil Guard could, theoretically, take 
action in such a case since adultery is a criminal offence. (The 
law against adultery was abrogated during the period in 
which civil divorce was admitted, and this fact may have 
bearing upon the case to be discussed later.) Finally, the vito 
is a more enduring and violent ordeal than the common 
conception of the cencenada supposes. An essential part of it is 
the composition and continual repetition of songs of remark 
able obscenity about the victims. 

The most famous vito of Alcala took place about 1930. A 
man called Jacinto el Conde deserted his wife and children 
who remained in the pueblo, and set up house in an old mill 
in the valley with Mariquilla, the unmarried daughter of 
another farmer of the valley, "una que andaba con quien 
queria" that is to say, she already had a bad reputation. 
Such a vito was put on as has never been seen before or since. 
Two hundred people came every night and not only boys but 
married men also. Jacinto called upon the Civil Guard for 
protection, which they sent, but, though they took prisoners, 
there were just as many next night. The Civil Guard came 
on a number of occasions and even confiscated the great 
"bell of the snow", a bell, so heavy that it took two men to 
carry it, which had formerly been used by the snow-packers 
on the mountain and which the mockers had taken pains to 
bring on the scene. The Civil Guard soon gave up coming to 
protect Jacinto, and the pueblo, satisfied that it had gained 
a victory, redoubled the vito. In order to escape it the guilty 
couple moved house and took up their residence in a farm 
overlooking the lower valley in order to be farther from the 
pueblo, but people continued to come and those of Guadal- 
mesi, which was now nearer, began to come as well. 

Apart from the ringing of bells and the blowing of horns, 
they baked little mud figures with horns on them and placed 
them where he would find them the following day, and on 


more than one occasion they wired up the door of his farm 
house so that he could not come out, and then eased the 
barrel of a shot-gun down through the thatch and sang their 
songs down it. It is said that the vito went on for three months 
and that then something inside Jacinto, near his heart, 
burst and it killed him. 1 

Jacinto appears to have been the chief victim of the songs 
but others were also sung to Mariquilla, nor were they any 
less severe on that account. The reproach contained in them 
does not refer to his deserted wife and children, though there 
is no doubt that this circumstance was responsible for the 
strength of feeling over the matter in the pueblo, they deride 
him, rather, as a cuckold, and indeed the reason given on one 
occasion of the vitcfs purpose was to warn him what manner of 
woman he was dealing with. This is clearly something of a 
rationalisation. A few of the more harmless rhymes may be 

"El pobrecito del Conde "Poor old Conde 

No se puede poner el Can't put his hat on 

sombrero For his horns go round and 

Tiene los cuernos revuel- round 

tos As if he were a ram." 

Como si fuera un carnero." 

" Si la cabeza del Conde "If the head of Conde 
Tuviera bombilla 5 Had bulbs fitted on it 

Brillara tanto como It would shine as bright 

La exposition de Sevilla." As the Seville Exhibition." 
(There was a world-famous exhibition in Seville in 1929) 
A song was even sung to one of his brothers who came to 
visit him : 

"Ten cuidado con tu her- "Take care of your brother 

Que es un caballo Who is a stud stallion 

sementa 5 

Ten cuidado con la rubia Take care of the blonde 
Que te le va a pesca 5 ." Who will fish him away from 

you. 55 

i Death is frequently attributed to an emotional cause, shock or despair, 
being the commonest. Thunderstorms are much feared for this reason. That the 
vito should have killed Jacinto is not therefore anything incredible but, on the 
contrary, just what might be expected. 


Before considering the theoretical implications of the vito 
another example may be given. In 1946 (or thereabouts) el 
Cortadillo became engaged to marry a widow, a girl some 
eleven years his junior whose husband had died in the war. 
In the autumn she went to join the olive-pickers on the farm 
of el Cortadillo together with the other brothers- and sisters- 
in-law. They put on a vito which lasted three or four nights. 
The songs which they sang were personal and lewd, but they 
do not appear to have contained the implications of those 
addressed to Jacinto el Conde and Mariquilla. When it was 
seen that they were not going to desist, the brothers of el 
Cortadillo went out to reason with the jesters pointing out 
that the couple were neither married, which would have 
provided the conventional excuse for a vito, nor were they 
juntos (literally: " joined", i.e. living together), since he slept 
upstairs in the loft and she slept with her future sisters-in-law 
downstairs. The jokers retired for a short while, then returned 
to sing : 

" El pobre del Cortadillo " Poor old Cortadillo 

Ni esta junto ni esta Is neither joined nor married 

casa'o For he sleeps upstairs 

Porque el duerme arriba And she sleeps downstairs." 
Y ella duerme abajo." 

At the second attempt, however, the brothers were successful 
and peace was concluded. 

As a final example, the mock-vito of Sefior Jose Puente 
("Tio Puente") may be considered. An old farmer, famous 
for his jokes and good humour, he moved from his farm as he 
approached his eightieth birthday into a small house nearby, 
where a servant-girl of seventeen went to look after him. The 
neighbours decided to give him a tito, pretending that they 
believed he was the lover of his servant. The old man took 
full advantage to show that his wit had not deteriorated and 
he delighted everyone, answering in rhyme the rhymes they 
had composed for him. The jesters were invited into his 
house to drink wine. At no point was this vito in the least 

There are several points to be noted. The vito, viewed as a 
"jural sanction", applies, like certain articles in the Penal 


Code, only to the flagrant breach of the moral code. The 
pueblo reacts not when its moral code is evaded but only 
when it is directly challenged. It has, though rarely, been put 
on in the case of an immoral relationship maintained through 
habitual visits, but only when the jesters were able to be 
certain of finding the habitual visitor in the expected place at 
the expected hour. Practical contingencies prevent it from 
operating otherwise. 

A second point is that, clearly, it does not happen in every 
case. Within the pueblo it is no longer possible to do it, 
though there have been occasions on which it has been 
performed in a mild form, thanks to the fact that the com 
mander of the Civil Guard and the other authorities shut 
their eyes to it. It must be remembered that it is not com 
manded by a judicial order, but by the desire which a 
sufficient number of young men feel to spend the night in 
that way rather than in any other. Consequently, in order to 
arouse these feelings a person must belong fully to the 
community, must be one in whom such behaviour is regarded 
as highly scandalous and the concern of the pueblo. There 
are certain persons, gypsies and recognised shameless ones, 
whose actions are not regarded as warranting the outburst of 
popular indignation. Nothing they could do would surprise 
the pueblo for they are regarded as already beyond the pale. 

The vito is an outburst of aggressive ridicule on the part 
of the anonymous pueblo against one who transgresses, an 
outburst provoked, it might be said, by a manifestation of 
anti-social sex. There is no violence attached to it, and it is 
done under cover of the night. The mocking voices rise out 
of the darkness, but when the infuriated man rushes from his 
house to confront his assailants there is no one there ; only 
the sound of scuffling, cow-bells, cat-calls and distant 
laughter. What can he do? If he invites the jesters in to 
wine or coffee, then there is an end of it, it is said. If not, then 
it goes on and gets worse. If one is wise, one smiles and takes 
it in good part, inviting one's insultors to be one's guests 
even though one may be black within. But even then it is up 
to them whether they decide to accept the offer of hospitality. 
If not, then the victim has humiliated himself for nothing, 
and his swallowed pride is rewarded with a blast on the cow- 


horn and a peal of laughter. Once they do accept then the 
anonymous pueblo disappears and those who advance into 
the light are individuals ready to resume personal relations. 
In the case of Jacinto el Conde there could be no solution. 
He reinforced his defiance of the pueblo by calling for the 
Civil Guard. Nor, after singing songs of such violence and 
crudity, would any of the jesters have been prepared to 
come forward and resume personal relations. In the case of 
el Cortadillo they ended by making peace, thanks to the good 
offices of his family, though not, as has been seen, at the first 

It is the social personality not the person of the victim 
which is attained by this sanction. He is not harmed, but is 
humiliated and disgraced, and is, as it were, cast out of the 
moral community of the pueblo which has become anony 
mous and hostile to him. He must make atonement through 
the sacrifice of his pride before he is accepted back, or he 
must remain a moral outcast, a shameless one. 

It can be seen that the custom of the cencerrada upon the 
remarriage of widowed persons is no more than a semi- 
serious application of the sanction. It cannot be an entirely 
serious manifestation of opprobrium since Church and State 
allow such remarriage. But it is, nevertheless, a manifestation 
of resentment in the face of that egoism which is the enemy of 
the social order. "What did she want to marry again for?" 
it is asked, "She had children already." Or "Now that we're 
alone," said an elderly farmer after his wife had left the room, 
"I'll tell you what women are they're the devil, if they're 
not kept in subjection by a man." This was his conclusion to 
a conversation regarding a widow who had remarried. The 
value system of the pueblo is profoundly monogamous, and 
any return, after a person has been married, to pre-marital 
romanticism on the part of man or woman is regarded as a 
challenge to these values. 1 

There was formerly an occasion upon which the sanctions 

i Where there are children of a previous marriage a second marriage cannot 
create a satisfactory family, for children must all be treated equally and 
parents cannot treat a child and a step-child as though they were equally 
attached to both. From this comes the belief that step-parents are always 
wicked, which is the usual reason given for disapproving of remarriage. 


of the pueblo were institutionalised in yet another way. It 
is now fifteen years since it was practised and memories are 
not reliable. This was the festival of Carnaval, the traditional 
feast which heralds the opening of Lent. 1 As in other Euro 
pean countries, it had the character of a time of special 
licence and of the reversal of the social order. It took on an 
anti-clerical and political character during the years which 
preceded the Civil War, and the present government banned 
it on the grounds that if people were allowed to wear 
disguise they would take advantage of the occasion to pay off 
old scores. For an essential feature was that it was a time 
when people disguised themselves with masks. It also had 
the character of a time of authorised shamelessness, hence 
the saying "en carnaval todo vale" ("in carnival anything 
goes 55 ). The reversal of values was illustrated in the relations 
of the sexes. A name for it was the "Festival of the Women 55 
and it was supposed to be a propitious time for finding a 
nomo. During Carnaval it was the girls who invited the boys to 
dance, who might ask them to marry and so forth. 

"Ya viene el Carnavalito "Here comes Carnaval 
El festival de mujere 5 The festival of the women 

Ella que no le caiga novio She who doesn't find a nomo 
Qu'espere el ano que Will have to wait till next 
viene." year." 

Games were played in which compadres de carnaval found 
one another by a system of hazard and were then linked to 
gether for the rest of the festival. In this way persons who 
suffered from excessive shyness found their difficulty over 
come. It is said that many compadres de carnaval became novios 
once the festival wa^ over and consequently many happy 
marriages were owed to the custom. Other people, on the 
contrary, disapprove of Carnaval., for they say that it was a 
time when "ugly things 59 were done by those who had all too 
little shame in normal times and put the special licence which 
Carnaval offered to exaggerated use. 

In relation to the moral sanctions of the pueblo, the songs 
of Carnaval, sung by the bands of masked people, possessed 

i In many parts of Spain other festivals of the winter solstice are endowed 
with similar characteristics. Their relationship has been studied by J. Caro 
Baroja, Analisis de la cultura (Barcelona, 1949), pp. 183 et seg. 


particular importance. A certain shamelessness must needs 
be authorised for them to be sung, for they represented the 
public exposition of the year's harvest of gossip. For weeks 
before the arrival of Carnaval those who had talents of that 
order spent their evenings composing these songs, and into 
them put all the scurrilous events of the year. Things which 
had been kept dark for many months came out in a couplet in 
Carnaval sung hilariously by the masked figures as they 
danced down the street. Shopkeepers who had used false 
scales, municipal employees who abused their position found 
themselves lampooned, but most of all the couplets were 
intended to reveal illicit relationships between the sexes. 
Through the masked voice of the pueblo the novio whose novia 
had deceived him while he was away was warned of his 
plight and exhorted to put off his horns. The songs of 
Carnaval are recognised by some to have been the guardian of 
marital and pre-marital fidelity. The supposed increase in 
infidelity is often attributed to its suppression. "These days 
nobody knows where he is. For who is to tell him of a thing 
like that?" 

P.S. 12 


Law and Morality 
(ii) Bandits and Gypsies 

THE LEGAL and moral sanctions of this society each pre 
scribe a code of behaviour, but the two codes are far from 
being identical. An action is not wrong simply because it is 
against the law, nor is a judgement necessarily just because 
it follows the law. What has been referred to as " a distrust of 
formal justice" is in fact no more than a reflection of this 
distinction. Clearly, there is a large field of conduct which 
both the law and moral values prohibit, delicts against 
persons, property, and so on, but there is also a large part of 
the Penal Code which to the pueblo is morally indifferent, 
while inevitably much that is regarded as wrong is free of 
legal injunction. 

But there is a sphere, finally, where the two sets of sanctions, 
instead of reinforcing one another, come into conflict. The 
economic controls instituted by the government are regarded 
as wrong, and those who attempt to enforce them are wicked. 
To co-operate with the government by denouncing to the 
inspector is an act of treason against the community. To go 
to law against a neighbour over a minor matter is as un 
ethical as, among schoolboys, to sneak to the master. The 
periodical instances of small theft which occur in the valley 
are not brought before the law while the thief is thought to 
be a resident in the valley. Private action is taken, counter- 
theft or, if the thief can be caught in the act, violence. For a 
poor man, when in need, to pilfer from the property of the 
rich or to pasture his goats illegally on one of the large 
properties is not considered immoral. It is a greater wrong 
that some should go short when others have abundance. 

On the other hand, legal sanctions may sometimes be in 
voked against the institutions which preserve the morality of 


the pueblo, against the vito or against the activities of those 
persons to be discussed below who, in the terminology of the 
Penal Code, " abuse the credulity of the public". The law 
steps in to protect the adulterer against the sanctions of the 
pueblo, the thief against the sdbia who would find him out, 

Once more the intermediate position of the ruling group 
between state and community manifests itself. While they, or 
individuals among their number, have the duty of applying 
the sanctions of organised force, they are also members of the 
community. Though they have far more regard for the law 
than does the pueblo, they do not confuse it with morality. It 
is rather the instrument which provides them with the means 
of government. The incident described on page 1129 illustrates 
how their use of that power is influenced by moral considera 
tions. 1 

By distinguishing in this way between the sanctions of 
morality and those of organised force, tracing the former via 
the traditional customs and the value system of the pueblo to 
the structure of personal relations within the pueblo, and the 
latter via the formal political institutions and the code of law 
to the state, the nature of certain personalities, typical of 
Andalusia, becomes clear. 

The bandit is a traditional and picturesque figure in 
Andalusia. He was already established there in the time of 
Cicero and has been there almost consistently ever since. In 
recent times he has been much romanticised, and has become 
the hero of a literary genre which might be compared with 
the American "Western". He is today one of the heroes of 
the cinema. This literary figure sprang from a folk tradition 
similar to that which surrounds the name of Robin Hood. Its 
essence is well expressed in a couplet referring originally to 
the name of Diego Corrientes, a famous eighteenth-century 
bandit, but frequently heard with another name in his place. 

"Diego Corrientes, el ladron de Andalucfa, 
Que a los ricos robaba y a los pobres socorrfa." 

"Diego Corrientes, the robber of Andalusia, 
Who used to rob the rich and help the poor." 

i The values upon which such moral considerations are based, how far those of 
the educated are identical with those of the pueblo (pkbs) 9 will be discussed later. 


According to Bernaldo de Quiros 1 there appears to be little 
justification for this assertion with regard to Diego Corrientes 
or any other bandit of the past, with the exception of Jose- 
Maria el Tempranillo whose style and gallantry did much to 
promote the legend in the early nineteenth century. This 
striking figure of whom Merimee has left a portrait in his 
Voyage en Espagne is the subject of many stories told by those 
of Alcala. One of the most popular tells how, riding one day 
through the campifia of Guadalmesi, he encountered a poor 
tenant farmer leading his aged and crotchety mule. Jose- 
Maria remarked that such a mule would be better off dead, 
and, drawing his pistol, he shot it. The poor man complained 
that it was the only beast he possessed but Jose- Maria told 
him to go to a cortijo nearby where they were selling a fine 
young animal and buy it. He threw the man a bag of money 
containing the required price. The man did as he was told 
and bought the mule, and no sooner had he ridden away on 
it than Jose- Maria galloped into the farm-yard and drawing 
his pistols demanded his money back. This story is one of the 
" chestnuts" of banditry for it is told everywhere of the local 
bandit hero. More reliable, historically, is that which 
records that he had a sweetheart from a pueblo of the sierra 
and that he attended the baptism of the child she bore him in 
the church of Alcala. He obtained his pardon from the king 
while still quite young and passed into the royal service as a 
guard upon the mail coaches of Andalusia. He was killed 
defending a convoy against an assault led by his one-time 
lieutenant. In recent times the bandits have been mainly 
men who, either on account of a crime they had committed 
or to avoid military service, took to the hills rather than face 
capture by the Civil Guard and lead a precarious existence, 
robbing the isolated cortijo or capturing the member of a 
wealthy family for ransom. At different times the bandits 
have taken a distinct political colour, and those of the post 
war period were led originally by former officers of the 
Republican forces and were supplied with arms from abroad. 
They were referred to as los Rojos ("the Reds") or los de la 
sierra ("those of the mountains") and were active in the 
country round Alcald down to 1951. 

1 Bernaldo de Quiros and Ardila, El Bandolerismo. 


The demographic background of the problem of banditry 
has been recognised for a long time. The colonisation of the 
wastes around Cordoba in the eighteenth century were under 
taken with the avowed object of protecting the main road 
from the bandits who were endangering the communications 
between Madrid and that region. 1 Bernaldo de Quiros 
observes 2 that the principal characteristics of the social 
structure of the countryside are responsible for Andalusian 
banditry, and those he enumerates as : 

(i) El latifundismo, the ownership and exploitation of 
agricultural property in large units. 

(ii) The absence of a middle class. 3 

(iii) The great mass of agricultural proletariat, "almost 
entirely without roots, possessing no land, living . . . beside 
and in the view of the territorial aristocracy, witnessing 
their power, idleness and riches, while themselves enduring 
hunger and injustice. . . ." 

He also notes, however, that in Extremadura where the 
same conditions obtain there is no tradition of banditry. He 
fails to note unfortunately that there is also a flourishing 
tradition of banditry in the mountainous parts of Andalusia 
where the conditions which he defines are not general, 
notably in the sierra of Ronda. 

Ronda is like a provincial capital to the pueblos of the 
sierra. Like Jerez, it possesses a resident aristocracy. The 
pueblos to the south, in the valley of the Rio Genal, are 
small, less than one thousand inhabitants in number, and 
situated in wild country. The agricultural land of these 
pueblos and much of the low-lying forest is divided into small 

1 Cf. J. Garo Baroja, "Las 'nuevas poblaciones' de sierra morena y Anda- 
lucia" in Clavilefio, 1952. No. 18. Also Bernaldo de Quiros, Los Reyes, etc. 

2 El Bandolerismo, p. 71. 

3 What Bernaldo de Quiros appears to mean by this statement, and it is one 
which is frequently made regarding Andalusia, is that the society is composed 
only of rich and of poor, that there is no middle class, in the sense of people of 
intermediary economic position. This is plainly untrue, even in the areas 
where latifundismo is most accentuated. What is missing is not the category of 
people of medium wealth but the ideal type of the bourgeois, distinguished by 
occupation, and place of habitation and values from the landowners and the 
agricultural labourers. Where all live in towns the term "bourgeoisie" (taken 
in its literal sense) clearly becomes meaningless. Diaz del Moral uses the term 
burgesia agricidtora in order to refer to this class. (See quotation on p. 61.) 


properties. Large pastoral properties are owned by the state 
and by the aristocracy of Ronda who also own much of the 
better land round Ronda itself. An admirable article in 
Estampa, 1934, examines the condition of banditry in this 
region : 

"Just as in some regions there are pueblos which strive to 
produce the most and the best bullfighters, so here they want 
to have bandits. 55 It is a Civil Guard speaking to the journa 
list. " There are five or six from Parauta and you should see 
how proud the neighbours are of them. 55 " All the folk of the 
sierra protect Flores" (a bandit). "In Igualeja the pueblo is 
on Flores 5 side. They are all spies who watch our every act. 
Only by a betrayal could we come to grips with him 3 and 
no one dares betray him for he would soon be avenged. 55 The 
Civil Guard sees it as a permanent system : " When one dies, 
either a bandit or a Civil Guard, at once another steps for 
ward to replace him and the show goes on. . . ." 

The story is told of another bandit, Juan el Nene of 
Igualeja, described as bandido de honor, who attacked only the 
unjust, punished the peasants who got drunk and beat their 
wives and gave alms to the needy. After twelve years he gave 
himself up and was pardoned. 

The victims of these bandits are the caciques and the 
wealthy farmers. 1 The large landowners, on the contrary, 
enter into pacts with them for the sake of peace, A lady of the 
aristocracy explains the system: "The bandit respects our 
properties and the lives of our workers, in fact he protects 
them. On our part we never give him away. 55 She goes on to 
explain how when she went once to visit a distant property 
Flores accompanied her, because as he explained, there were 
many petty robbers in the neighbourhood. 

The different sections of the community ally themselves 
in different ways according to the locality. The only con 
stants which can be established are the relationship between 
the bandit and the Civil Guard and the relationship of both 

i The typical victim today is the farmer who has made much money from 
the black market. It is not only that people of higher social status are more 
difficult to catch. (When Don Antonio's family is in residence in the Pileta 
there used always to be a pair of Civil Guards on duty there.) The bandits also 
realise that the greater the importance of the person attacked the greater will 
be the outcry in the area and the demand for measures against them. 


these to the pueblo. In communities such as the Andalusian 
pueblo it is not possible to hide, as it is in a large city. A 
person who is outside the law must either go far away to the 
city where his country ways will make him conspicuous, 
where his speech, vocabulary, dress, manners will betray him 
at once as belonging to the mountains and where unless he 
has a confidential contact he will soon be apprehended. Or 
he must take to the hills, retaining his confidential contacts 
in his own pueblo. His opposition to the Civil Guard assures 
him the sympathy of a large part of the pueblo. Theoretically, 
at any rate, a romantic and honourable figure, he is outside 
the law but he is not immoral. It is the fact that he remains a 
member of the moral community, at least in relation to 
certain sections of it, that he is able to subsist outside the 
law. Once the shepherds begin to inform upon him to the 
Civil Guard, once his friends in the pueblo fail him when he 
comes down for supplies, then he has reached the end of his 
tether. A clear understanding of this problem was responsible 
for the recent suppression of banditry in the sierra. The Civil 
Guard, unable to trap the elusive and well-armed "Reds", 
concentrated their efforts against their contacts in the 
pueblos. Finding their supplies endangered, the bandits took 
to plundering the shepherds and the latter reacted by 
betraying them to their pursuers. 

Because he is not morally an outcast the bandit's reintegra- 
tion into society was traditionally easier than that of other 
malefactors, and one is surprised at the number of bandits 
who, throughout the history of Andalusia, have obtained the 
royal pardon and settled down to a respectable old age. 
"Pasos Largos", a twentieth-century bandit of Ronda, is 
said to have become the guard on a property which he was 
sent to prison for robbing, and there are other examples of 
bandits who retired from law-breaking in order to defend 
the law. One is reminded of a similar pattern in another 
social sphere which is no less current in Andalusia, that 
recorded in the story of Don Juan Tenorio, the rebel against 
the sexual morality of his society who ended his days in 
extreme penitence and humility. 

The contrabandista is another picturesque and traditional 
figure. The demand for foreign tobacco was perhaps 


responsible for his prominence in the nineteenth century, 
though he was established there long before the age of 
tobacco. A network of illicit commercial relations operated 
from Gibraltar over the whole of Andalusia. The smugglers 
appear to have used routes through the mountains which lie 
to the north in preference to risking the passage along the 
coast where they might be easily apprehended by the authori 
ties. The main route appears to have led up the valley of the 
Rio Genal to Ronda past pueblos famous in the history of 
banditry: Gaucin, Cortes, La Sauceda, Parauta and 
Igualeja. Tio Puente can remember them in the days of his 
youth, coming with horse- and mule-trains of sixty beasts, a 
man to each animal and a cargo of tobacco on its back. They 
stopped at isolated farms for rest and supplies, and the farmer 
was glad to give them whatever they wanted for he knew that 
when they came to leave each man would pull a packet from 
his cargo and throw it down upon a pile in the patio. In those 
days there were few posts of Civil Guards in the mountains 
and fewer roads. Today the trains of contraband consist of 
no more than a few animals, and a host of individuals 
operate in different ways and on varying scales. But contra 
band tobacco can be bought anywhere and normally at 
steady and reasonable prices. Its distribution has at times 
contrasted favourably with the official systems of distribution. 
The contrabandistas worked in similar areas if not in actual 
co-operation with the bandits, and the difference between the 
two was not great. Their position in the social structure was 
similar, and often enough a bandit turns out to have started 
his career as a smuggler and to have taken to the hills only 
after some unfortunate clash with the Civil Guards. 

Shame as a sociological concept has been discussed in 
Chapter VIII, and what is meant by sin verguenza has been 
-explained. There are certain persons in this community who 
ai^e recognised "shameless ones". Perhaps it would be better 
to^all them self-confessed shameless ones, for they have no 
pretensions to shame, and do not respond at all to the sanc 
tions which operate upon a person's shame. They cannot be 
threatened with loss of face, for they have morally nothing 
to lose. It is this which distinguishes them from those who 


may be thought to be shameless and may even be said to be 
shameless behind their back, but who keep up the pretence of 
having shame. Such a shameless person is a kind of pariah, 
and in contrast to the manners with which other people are 
treated he is very often afforded scant courtesy. He is a person 
who may be called shameless, to his face even, with impunity. 
Structurally the opposite to the bandit, he is within the law 
but beyond the pale, as far as the moral community goes. 
Most commonly a beggar, though also a tinker or hawker, he 
will never do "an honest job of work", nor indeed will 
people employ such a person in any capacity which necessi 
tates a relationship of trust. Yet though such a person cannot 
be made to respond to the sanctions of popular morality, that 
does not prevent him or her from abusing them and playing 
upon the sense of shame of others. Some of the old women 
who come round the farms begging are feared rather than 
pitied. They will accuse people of meanness at once if they 
do not give, will make up lies about them and tell their 
neighbours, will curse them and bewitch their dogs and so 
on. Thanks to their own shamelessness they are able to apply 
pressure to the shame of others, for shame is a self-regarding 
sentiment, and the fact that the victim of such manoeuvres 
feels no moral compunction to give way does not prevent him 
from reacting in order to save his pride. On the other hand, a 
shameless one, having forfeited his moral membership of the 
community, is no longer entitled to be treated like a neigh 
bour and people show no hesitation in denouncing him to 
the Civil Guard for an infringement of the law. When el 
Tuerto came down to the valley with an accomplice and 
robbed beehives, the victim went straight to the Civil Guard. 
El Tuerto is used by the Civil Guard, on the other hand, as 
an informer, a role in which his lack of shame is, to say the 
least, convenient. 

In the first instance the bandit is the ally of the pueblo as 
long as he remains within the pale. In the second, the shame 
less one is free to molest honest people as long as he remains 
within the law. When either puts himself outside the law and 
also outside the moral community then the pueblo makes 
common cause with the Civil Guard. At this point law and 
morality join forces. 


The Gypsies of Andalusia are partly sedentary and partly 
migratory. Before the war there were a number of families 
living in the pueblo of Alcala of whom few remain now. 
Others come from other parts of Europe during the winter, 
but these camp away from the pueblos and have no lasting 
relationships there. 

The gypsies are regarded as a race apart. The people of 
Alcala referring to a non-gypsy say "a Castilian" or 
"a Christian" as though gypsies were neither, yet they are, 
for the most part, Spanish subjects and profess to adhere 
to the Church. They are distinguished by their appear 
ance, and everybody is confident that he can tell a gypsy 
long before he opens his mouth. He can be told by his 
skin colour, by his hair, by his dress, by his gait or, in the 
women, by the style of doing the hair, by the ornaments they 
wear a ii this before considering their language, the catt, 
and their customs. Such vast differences might imply the 
absence of miscegenation, but this is not in fact the case. 
There are mixed marriages in abundance, and whether the 
children of such marriages are gypsies or Castilians will 
depend very largely upon how they appear to the pueblo. 
There are in fact a number of dark skins among the Castilians 
and of fair ones among gypsies. They will appear one thing 
or the other to the pueblo according not only to their 
appearance but also according to their character and way of 
life. When I complained that some vagabonds, camped just 
outside the pueblo, lacked the physical characteristics of 
gypsies, I was told: "Even if they aren't, they're as good as 
gypsies." Upon another occasion, it was commented that 
^here was a gypsy (he was in fact a half-caste), who worked in 
the fields "as if he were a Castilian 55 . For gypsies do not 
undertake agricultural work. They are beggars, thieves, 
fortune-tellers, basket-makers, horse-dealers, and so forth, 
but a gypsy who does "an honest job of work s> is simply not 
behaving like a gypsy. To define them sociologically, one 
might say that they are a caste of shameless ones, for even 
though there are gypsies who behave like Castillians it is 
recognised that gypsies are shameless. (It is said that a 
number have entered the ranks of their traditional enemies 
the Civil Guard and the pueblo comments humorously that 


this is understandable, their lack of shame will not be noticed 
there.) Borrow, whose insight into their nature was remark 
able, observes 1 : 

"One great advantage which the gypsies possess over 
all other people is an utter absence ofmauvaise honte\ their 
speech is fluent, their eyes as unabashed, in the presence of 
royalty, as before those from whom they have nothing to 
hope or fear." 

He points out that they only feel shame before their own 
people. How far it is true that they feel no shame cannot be 
answered. Suffice that this is the general belief. 2 It is this 
real or supposed absence of shame which defines their 
position in society, makes them unemployable in any lasting 
engagement, but at the same time fits them admirably for the 
practice of the trade of horse-dealer in which they excel in 
the fairs. No lie is so great, no deceit so ingenious that they 
will not brazenly proceed with it. 

Some explanation can now be offered both of the hero- 
worship of the bandit in popular tradition and also of the 
cult of the gypsy among the well-to-do. In the first, the 
pueblo expresses its opposition to the state by romanticising 
the figure who symbolises defiance to the state. The second is 
of a different order. Throughout European history a tendency 
may be noted for aristocracies to ally themselves with 
dissident groups and castes, and the attraction which gypsies 
have exerted upon them from the time of the famous Lady 
Berners down to the modern Spanish grandee may have an 
element of similarity with such alliances. Their skill in 
dancing may also be adduced to make them symbolical of 
gaiety, yet it is believed that they have not always occupied 
the predominant position in Andalusian dancing which they 
occupy today. Moreover, this would not suffice to explain the 
quantity of pseudo-gypsy poetry which had been popular 
since and even before Borrow' s day. No, the gypsy has be 
come the symbol of merry-making, not only because of the 

1 The Gypsies of Spain, p. 253. 

2 The general belief is frequently quite erroneous, as Borrow pointed out, 
but I am not concerned here with the gypsies themselves so much as with their 
significance in relation to " Gastilian" society. In particular, regarding feminine 
chastity among the gypsies, the Castilians are apt to be quite mistaken* 


grace and wit of gypsy women but because of their accepted 
shamelessness. By donning the traje de lunar es, the gypsy dress 
for the fair, romeria, or flamenco party the young girl or woman 
of good family can feel free of the excessive vergiienza which 
might make it impossible for her to enjoy herself. Through the 
pretence of disguising herself as a gypsy of whom shame is 
not expected, she can permit some of her habitual reserve to 
lapse, while at the same time she could never be taken seriously 
for a gypsy. Through their cult of the gypsies, people can 
participate in a realm of behaviour where they are not 
thwarted by the sanctions of a society which demands 
attitudes of shame and respect the trammels of the social 
structure. Thanks to the privilege of their caste the gypsies 
are able to offer a world which appears free from such 
restraints because it is outside the moral community. 

This explanation is valid not only in instances where the 
customs of the wealthy have assimilated items of Romany 
culture and use the symbol of the gitano in order to obtain 
the temporary release from those standards which the 
gypsies are thought not to obey. The recent history of 
Andalusia contains a number of examples of members of 
the aristocracy who have fled the society of their equals in 
order to live almost entirely surrounded by these people. 


Law and Morality 
(Hi) The Supernatural \ 

THE POPULAR institutions which stand in opposition to 
those of the state are not only juridical in character. Within 
the pueblo are found others which aim to fulfil a variety of 
functions. It might be stated as a principle that wherever 
hostility is felt towards the formal structure the pueblo evolves 
its own supplementary institutions. A central figure in these 
is the sabia or wise woman. 

There are two sabias in Alcala; Juana de la Pileta and 
Redencion. Juana is a woman of fifty-five who has been blind 
from childhood. She has nevertheless had two husbands (she 
was properly married in church to one of them) and several 
children. Redencion is some ten years older but of a more 
retiring disposition and of more modest achievements as a 
sabia. She also has been married and has children. 

A sabia is a woman who possesses powers of a supernatural 
order. These powers derive from the possession of gracia 
(grace) . The word is used in a variety of contexts. It means a 
favour, a free gift. Also, in the sense of "well-favoured", it 
means grace in one's person, grace of movement, as, in 
English, grace in walking or dancing the power to evoke 
admiration. It means humour the power to evoke laughter. 
In the religious sense it means grace. In all its senses it means 
a divinely ordained privilege, a power which is a free gift, 
which demands no rational justification and no payment. (It 
is also the word used in saying thank you, for it is that which 
may be returned in acknowledgement of a favour.) Disgrace 

i The word is used in an admittedly subjective sense. "That which tran 
scends the natural order", the natural order being that which the writer 
regards as natural. For many of the people of Alcala, much that is here regarded 
as supernatural is part of the natural order. 


consequently means a loss of this and desgraciado means both 
"unfortunate" and, also, "in a shameful situation", as well 
as out of favour. It may mean either out of God's favour or 
out of one's neighbour's. Thus it comes to mean something 
similar to a shameless one, though a less damaging term. A 
desgraciado is an outcast through the will of God and not 
through the fault of his mother. 

It is her gracia which gives the sabia her powers. She must 
have "grace in the hand" in order to cure by touch, but it 
is a quality resident in her person. The signs of grace are 
various. The five most generally recognised are : 

(1) To be a twin. 

(2) To be born on Good Friday. 

(3) To cry out in one's mother's womb. 

(4) To be visited by the Holy Virgin in dreams. This 
normally occurs during childhood. Also "las Marias 
tienen gracia" ("those called Maria have grace"), but 
this is only in a purely minor way, such as having protec 
tion from such things as snakes. 1 

(5) To have the two transverse lines of the hand joined 
in one. 

But possession of one of these signs does not bestow grace 
automatically. They merely indicate that it is likely that the 
person in question has it. Nor does possession of grace enable 
a person to operate her power without knowledge and 
training. Like shame, it is a matter both of endemic quality 
and also of education. 

The powers of the sabia vary in each individual case. But 
the following are functions which, generally speaking, are 
fulfilled by them. 

(i) To find out the whereabouts of objects which are 
lost, or animals which have strayed. (2) To discover the 
name of the thief if they have been stolen, revealing the 
circumstances of their disappearance. (3) To discover 
whether an absent one is alright, in good health and so 
on. To discover whether he or she is still pensando (think 
ing i.e. remains faithful). (4) To cause to fall in love, or 

i It is significant that a particular taboo prohibits the mention of the words 
for snake and lizard which are both referred to by some more general term. To 
mention these words is thought to attract ill-fortune. 


to fall in love again with a person for whom affection was 
waning. To operate upon the emotions in other ways, to 
end quarrels or pacify a violent husband. (5) To protect 
from acts of God or the fear aroused by them (which, as 
has been mentioned earlier, is liable to be physically detri 
mental, even dangerous). To ensure that a person who 
dies without receiving the last unction does not go to hell. 
(6) Curing, midwifery, etc., through medical, pseudo- 
medical and supernatural methods. 

The list is by no means complete. Juana can also assist 
in calming poltergeists and finding treasure and she gives 
advice to enable people to be successful in their choice of 
lottery tickets. 

The powers to whom her invocations are addressed are 
mainly powers of the established religion. It is true that 
Astarte and Venus both make fleeting appearances, and that 
certain texts invoke directly the rosemary or the salt in an 
animistic manner as though they were possessed of magical 
power. But Juana is insistent upon her orthodoxy and 
devotion. "Nothing but the things of God" does she do, she 
assures. The belief in the miraculous powers of saints is 
general in Andalusia, and shrines, bedecked with the testi 
monies of those whose prayers have been answered, are 
common. The sabia is a person who by her grace and know 
ledge is able to manipulate these powers. Some of the signs 
of grace, it has been noted, imply a favoured relationship to 
religion. Moreover she takes a strict moral line with regard 
to the behaviour of girls. There is a passage in the oration of 
love in which she thanks God that her client has reached or 
is about to reach matrimony in a state of purity, and if this 
is not so then her grace enables her to be aware of the fact 
and her tongue cannot say the words. She confirms the 
general opinion regarding the decline in the standards of 
sexual morality. Formerly an occasional instance would 
occur when she could not finish the oration, but these days 
she is aghast at the number there are. While disapproving, 
she strives to see that matters go no further astray and to 
assure the fidelity of the nomo. Her purpose throughout is 
highly moral. She uses her power to set right that which has 
gone wrong. But this is not on account of the power itself 


but simply because she is a- good woman. The same power 
invoking "things which are not of God", may be used for 

Once more the intention, the state of the heart, is the 
important thing. A person possessed of such powers but of 
evil intent is not a sabia but a bruja (witch). She can cause 
people to lose not find things, can give the thief protection, 
can make a man blind to his wife's adulteries, can ensure that 
illicit passions are returned, can drive people mad, can afflict 
with illness or death. 1 

The forces of the supernatural operate, within the com 
munity, through immanent qualities such as grace and one 
which will be discussed later, calio, which are the specific 
attributes of women. A somewhat anomalous instance can 
be given to illustrate this. In the year 1950 there appeared in 
the valley a new phenomenon, a young man of markedly 
effeminate manner and dress named Rafael and referred to 
as "el Sabio de la Linea" (la Linea is the pueblo which acts 
as a contraband emporium opposite Gibraltar) . Rafael had 
an original style in matters of curing. To begin with he was a 
townsman not a countryman, and he effected a certain 
education. He mixed an amount of medical jargon into his 
talk, though his essential ideas were closer to those of Juana 
than to those of the medical profession, and he impressed 
people as someone who "really knew" about these things. 
His pretensions in the supernatural world were certainly no 
less. "Others/ 5 he said, "may have their grace, but my grace 
is of the Holy Spirit itself. It was bestowed upon me at my 
birth." The report that he had cured the son of a miller who 
was thought to be incurable raised his prestige, and for a 
short time many people had faith in him. At the end of three 
months, however, he was discovered to be a confidence 
trickster, for he disappeared to Tangier with a large sum of 
money which had been entrusted to him by a patient. Yet 
before the time of this revelation he had seriously challenged 
the position of Juana and Redenci6n. When they were 

l Attribution of madness and illness to the power of witches is common 
enough. I have never come across a case in which death was suspected of being 
caused by a witch, but both death and also disappearance are thought to be 
possible achievements for them. I have known one instance of suicide resulting 
from madness attributed by some to witchcraft. 


mentioned to him he said scornfully : "Those two old women 
do nothing, neither good nor harm. Or rather yes, they do, 
Redencion is an alcahueta" He used the word in the sense 
of procureuse, for he went on: "She has a cupboard in the 
back of her house and in it she keeps a string with five 
sardines threaded on it through their eyes and various other 
charms." He 'explained that they had no grace but meddled 
immorally in sorcery and procured with the money of their 
clients favours which they attributed to their love-magic. He 
referred to them as witches. 1 

Rafael's words had considerable effect and for a time 
many people's confidence in the sabias of the pueblo was 
shaken. An ambivalence exists in the regard which people 
have for the sabia. Who knows? She may in reality be a 
witch. This is visible in the insistence which people who re 
quire her services praise her goodness. " Such a good woman, 
and how badly people speak of her, poor thing ! Yet when 
they get ill they come running to her quickly enough." 

People are shy of being seen going to visit the sabia, 
particularly if they are people of a certain standing, and very 
often they refrain from visiting the sabia in their own pueblo 
but visit one elsewhere. A number of people come from Ronda 
to visit Juana, and people of Alcala go to visit others in the 
neighbourhood. How far this is due to a desire to avoid 
the suspicions of neighbours and how far to the belief in the 
superior powers of bther sabias cannot be said. The people 
of the valley have not to face the curiosity of neighbours, for 
Juana comes round begging, and a message is easily slipped 
to her to call at this or that farm next time she is down that 

Opposition towards the sabia has a structural background. 
Her practices are against the teachings of the Church, 
though she may well be regarded as harmless by the priest. 
At the same time the Civil Guard does not applaud her 
services in the repression of theft. A former sergeant warned 

i The association between alcafwteria, in the sense of procuring, and 
brujeria (from bruja) is an ancient and general one typified in the personage of 
La Celestina, a comedy of Fernando de Rojas, 1498. See also: J. Caro.Baroja, 
Algunos Mitos Espanoles (Madrid, 1944), p. 235: "los vocablos de bruja y 
hechicera de un lado, y de otro los de alcahueta y cdestina estaban casi 
identificados ..." 

p.s. 13 


Juana not to dabble in accusations as it gave rise to violent 
quarrels. Educated people condemn such practices, on the 
grounds of "rationalism", as country nonsense and "supersti 
tion", the word by which they are officially condemned by 
the Church. In this sense, the ambivalence relating to her is 
the inverse of that which relates to the institutions of the 
formal structure. It is quite different from that which has 
been mentioned above which springs from the fear that she 
may be in reality a witch. In the first case she is condemned 
on the grounds that she effectively uses magic but uses it for 
evil ends ; in the second case because she is a silly old woman 
who fools people. It is illustrative of Rafael's place in the 
social structure that he should have seen fit to attack her on 
both scores. 

The sabia is not the only alternative to the doctor in 
matters of health. A whole range of practitioners presents 
itself to the person in need, ranging from simple quacks (male 
or female), who effect their cures through the application of 
a patent medicine without any pretensions to grace, down to 
the purely supernatural techniques of certain sabias. All these 
are grouped under the name curandero(-a). The natural and 
the supernatural mingle together and it is not possible to 
draw any clear line as to where one ends and the other begins. 
One of the most practical and materialistic of the curanderas 
specialises in curing a painful and persistent boil, a common 
affliction in the area, with the aid of a powder the ingredients 
of which are a family secret. She pronounced herself on one 
occasion unable to cure a boil on account of its position on 
the patient's neck, and recommended that the patient make 
a vow in the shrine of our Lady of Remedies, the patron of 
her pueblo, asking that the position of the boil might be 
changed. The boil disappeared from the neck and re 
appeared upon the patient's nose whereupon the curandera 

cured it. 

Another variety ofcurandero is the bone-setter. These men, 
for they are always men, have no particular grace and effect 
their cures through skill, a skill which at certain points comes 
near to being supernatural, for it is not a skill which anyone 
can acquire and it is most frequently hereditary, yet it 


involves the invocation of no supernatural powers and owes 
nothing other than to the knack and knowledge of the bone- 
setter himself. Neither their methods nor their achievements 
seem to differ very much from those of the medically 
recognised osteopath, though popular credence is sometimes 
given to stories of their exceptional ability. Men can never in 
fact have grace and consequently they are limited to methods 
which are purely manipulatory or herbalistic. El Sabio de La 
Linea is of course an exception one which his effeminacy 
does something to palliate but he is legitimately regarded as 
exceptional from every point of view. His influence, though 
great, endured only a few months and ended in a total 
eclipse. Following his disgrace all those whom he had helped 
suffered an immediate relapse. Rather than an institution of 
the life of the pueblo he was an exploiter of popular credulity, 
and his ability to combine the best of both worlds, his high- 
faluting language and his city suit, on the one hand, and his 
emotional appeal and his pretensions to exceptional grace 
on the other, were the keys to his success. His ambiguity in 
relation to sex merely reinforced his position as belonging at 
the same time to the male world of the formal structure and 
scientific .medicine, and also to the female world of grace. 

That supernatural power derived from grace belongs to 
women is made abundantly clear by an examination of the 
other forms of supernatural power. The distinction made by 
Professor Evans-Pritchard between witchcraft and sorcery, 1 
while valid in this society as a method of analysis, does not in 
all cases find clear-cut exemplification. The sabia owes her 
powers both to her inherent grace and also to her knowledge 
of invocations and practical techniques. She is neither entirely 
one thing nor the other, neither witch nor sorceress. 

There remain two varieties of supernatural power which 
fit Professor Evans-Pritchard's terms more exactly: sorcery 
and menstrual magic. 

Sorcery is commonly associated with poltergeists in Alcala, 
though its theoretical background is so uncertain that it is 
difficult to give a coherent account of it. It is admitted that 
the use of magical skills for malevolent purposes is possible 

l E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande 
(Oxford, 1937). 


anywhere, but how, in fact, they produce their effect is, if 
not a mystery, at any rate a trade secret. From the few cases 
recorded the following facts emerge. Sorcery is recognised 
by the effect which it has on the victim, who suffers from 
sharp pains, whose needles are stuck into her, whose crockery 
is smashed and who, in one case, was locked into her own 
house and the key vanished. The victims were all women, as 
it happened. These phenomena were explained by the attack 
of spirits who were sent by a person who had acquired 
control over them. Similar spirits appear in other beliefs 
and are particularly associated with Moorish treasure. These 
spirits are, according to some, the ghosts of the original 
owners of treasure who choose to reveal the whereabouts 
of their wealth to a particular person. Others believe that 
they are spirits sent by the ghosts. They manifest themselves 
through strange noises and voices which are very terrifying 
and are heard only at dead of night. They also throw things, 
crockery or stones, but are never seen save in the incarnation 
of a dog or cat or goat. In one instance a beautiful girl was 
seen in a tent lit up upon the mountain-side, but she was not 
thought to be the spirit but only an hallucination which the 
spirit had arranged. The person who has the courage to 
endure the ordeal of terror to the end is rewarded by finding 
the treasure. But treasure is also found by chance or simply 
by intuition, so people think. 

The sorcerer who sends the spirits to afflict his victim 
obtains his power over them by reading a book of magic, and 
the expression used to explain this manoeuvre is that he is 
"reading for so-and-so" ("estd leyendo para Fulana"). To 
do this requires no grace and all that need be done is to 
follow the instructions in the book. Consequently, men can 
do it and in fact it is more often thought to be men who are 
responsible. It is done for motives of jealousy, a jilted novio 
in one case was thought to be responsible, a cousin's wife 
dissatisfied with the division of an inheritance in another. It 
is always done from far away, for it is explained that if it 
were done within the pueblo people would know about it. In 
one instance it was done by a small farmer of the valley to 
his sister-in-law who lived near-by. He did not do it seriously 
but only, having acquired the book during the war, to see if it 


worked. When it was proved effective he confessed and 
apologised. On one occasion an informant described it as 
"lo que hacen, estando ellos fuera" ("That which they do 
from outside"). 

The subject of menstrual magic is not easily discussed. 
During the time of their period women possess certain in 
voluntary destructive .powers. If they pick flowers they 
whither ; they can kill bushes and trees with their touch and 
can wound the back of an animal upon which they ride. 
Their presence suffices to put out the fire in a lime-kiln or a 
plaster-kiln. 1 The vocabulary suggests an association between 
the emotion of jealousy and menstruation. En celos (literally, 
zeal or jealousy) is used to express the latter. Thus la mujer 
celosa (the jealous woman) is dangerous, for by association she 
possesses the powers which she would have while in that 
condition. Manifestation of the emotion of jealousy is no 
indication of their presence, however. There is little clarity 
in the minds or conformity of the opinions of the people of 
Alcald upon this subject. People simply are not sure what the 
jealous woman is, nor how you can tell whether a woman is 
possessed of these powers or not. All that is certain is that 
any woman during that time possesses them while certain 
women are thought to be dangerous the whole time in this 
way as though they were permanently in such a condition, 
and this idea is expressed by saying that they have calio. No 
doubt there would be a great diversity of opinion if it were 
possible to know who was thought to possess it and who not, 
but such matters are only mentioned in strict confidence.The 
fear relating to calio is bound up with the fear of the potenti 
ally anti-social force of female sexuality which has been 
examined in Chapter VIII. Sexual passion is expressed 
through the idiom of heat nicknames such as " el Calentito " 
and "la Tonta Caliente" were earned through a display of 
this quality and the idea of heat is also associated with 
menstruation. The explanation of the wound inflicted upon 
the mule's back was that the rider was "burning". Calio is, 

i Both these operations involve an element of hazard and their failure, 
unaccountable otherwise, is sometimes attributed to the power of women. The 
fire of the charcoal burner, equally subject to failure from inexplicable causes, 
is not affected by women on the other hand. 


in sum, a secret and dangerous power possessed by a few 
women in the community and exercised independently of 
their will, and independently of their menstrual periods. 

One final power, thought by the majority not to be con 
nected with cdio, is that of casting the evil eye. 1 The evil eye 
is a belief found in many parts of the world. It is the power 
to make a person, particularly a young child, sick and even 
to kill him, through bestowing a particularly bold and 
penetrating glance. Unlike other societies where the power 
may be possessed by members of either sex, it is the preroga 
tive, here, of women. Gypsy women are particularly feared, 
perhaps, on account of the boldness with which they are 
accustomed to stare. Old gypsy women are often thought to 
be ill-intentioned and this may add to their power, but 
intention is not an essential factor. Stories are told of a 
Castilian woman who possessed it without any evil intent. 
She simply possessed that desgracia. Calio and the evil eye 
are seen, then, to be similar to grace but in a negative way. 

There is no redress against sorcery. 2 Against the evil eye 
there are both defences and also remedies. Religious medal 
lions and amulets, hung round a child's neck defend it against 
the evil eye and also against other mischances. 3 Juana de 
la Pileta is also believed to be able to prescribe or perform 
a cure for it, and other cures are commonly known by 
persons learned in such matters. 

Within the community the powers of the supernatural are 
in the hands of women, and this fact accords with the view 
of the dichotomy ^ the sexes already given. Though the 
conceptions used to explain them are not associated with 
that of verguenza except in so far as immorality signifies its 

1 Yet the glance of a menstruating woman is sufficient on occasions, to 
produce the same effect as her touch. It is her glance which puts out the fire in 
a kiln. 

2 The Church possesses the power to exorcise poltergeists. 

3 An evil wind is also a threat to the life of the young child. In C. J. Cela, 
Lafamilia de Pascual Duarte, the story-teller relates laconically the death of his 
infant brother : "Un mal aire le entr6 y se muri6" ("an evil wind entered him 
and he died"). A story recounted to me told of a child who was bringing a 
glass jug to his mother when an ill wind entered the jug and it broke in half. 
"What luck," the mother commented, "that it went into the jug and not into 
the child." The idea does not have the extended significance found by Redfield 
in Yucatan. (R. Redfield, The Folk Culturt of Yucatan (Chicago, I94 1 )-) 


lack, both the danger to vergiienza, upon which the social 
order of the community is founded, and the source of evil 
magic within the community, derive from forms of female 
sexuality, which are both sometimes expressed in the idiom of 

It may well be asked at this point how among people who, 
even though they possess but a low standard of book-learning, 
belong nevertheless to a modern European culture, such 
beliefs can persist and whether in fact they do believe in the 
efficacy of the powers of the sabia and the practices which she 
prescribes, or whether they do not observe such superstitions 
in the same spirit as, say, superstitions regarding the salt or 
the lighting of cigarettes are observed in an Oxford common- 
room. Many people, and here again the difference between 
the sexes is most noticeable, assert sternly that such matters 
are nonsense, that the sabia can do no more than any other 
person ; that such beliefs are for old women and so on. The 
young tend to be slightly more sceptical than the old, men 
tend to be much more sceptical than women. It is thought 
indeed to be credulous and unmanly to pay attention to all 
this alcahueteria. Yet, members of the pueblo believe always 
in some part of it. Though they may dismiss the sabias as 
ineffectual, they do not doubt the possibility of supernatural 
evil or the power of true grace. Curro, for example, an 
avowed rationalist, dismisses the sabias in that way, yet can 
give instances from his own experiences of the evil effects of 
calio. The inn-keeper who thinks that Redenci6n's cures are 
for ignorant people who know no better, is himself convinced 
that a local bone-setter can mend broken bones instantly 
and far better than any doctor. He tells the story of an 
apparently miraculous cure effected by this man. Their 
beliefs show no logical consistency. Their consistency is to be 
found in regard to their attitudes to the formal institutions 
which oppose those of the "infra-structure". Doctors in 
general, chemists, in general, are continually spoken badly of. 
"Nothing grows in the chemist's shop" is the saying which 
expresses their belief in the superiority of country cures to 
the products of modern science. Yet this belief does not 
prevent them from buying the latter. In the same way no 


opportunity is lost to repeat stories in which sdbias brought 
off spectacular cures after all the doctors had failed, and even 
stories of doctors admitting themselves defeated in their 
attempts to cure themselves or their children, and resorting 
to the practitioners whom they had always condemned. The 
humbled doctor is portrayed pleading with the sabia to cure 
him. For doctors have adequate reasons for condemning the 
practices of the curanderos, and even on occasions they have 
been known to take action against them. 

What happens very frequently is that the patient goes to 
the doctor first and if he is not immediately cured he then 
resorts to the sabia or curandem. When he finally gets better, 
having followed the treatment of both, the credit is given to 
the latter. Neither are believed to be infallible and the sabia 
may well do you no good. But she is a good woman and does 
her curing out of goodness in return for what you choose to 
give her. She does not extort money like the doctor. The 
preference for her expresses a moral judgement more than 
anything else. As to their relative efficacity, the words of a 
man of Alcala express the point of view of the pueblo : "When 
the hour of his death approaches no man can stay the clock. 
The same when the hour comes for his tooth to ache. Only if 
he is given the right treatment it will ache less." The question 
of which is the right treatment, the doctor's or that of the 
sabia, is one each man must answer for himself. 

The formally constituted institutions controlled by the 
ruling group or the state and the activities wherein the 
pueblo avoids them stand in opposition to one another. 
The latter spring from the network of interpersonal relations 
within the community and depend upon the memories and 
cultural traditions of the pueblo rather than on the written 
word. The former owe their existence to authority delegated 
by a central power. Pairing them together one can see, in 
place of the sanctions of law, the sanctions of the pueblo's 
mockery; in place of the food-control, the clandestine mills 
and the black market ; in place of the matriculated shops, 
the revendonas and illicit traders; in place of the Civil Guard, 
the bandit and the smuggler. In place of the schools, the 
maestros rurales; in place of the doctor, vet and chemist, the 


curanderos; in place of the practicanta (trained nurse) , the 
patterns (country midwives). And for the purpose of invoking 
the powers of religion in such matters, in place of the priest, 
the sabia. 

In the attitude of the pueblo towards the ruling group a 
certain ambivalence has been detected. Ambivalence is also 
discernible in the pueblo's attitude not only towards the 
witch but towards the whole "infra-structure". This might 
almost be deduced logically from what has gone before. 
When a man expresses respect for education he cannot but 
deplore the humble achievements of the rural teacher. The 
sabia' s activities are condemned by the Church ; the curandero 
turns into a quack beside the wonders of modern medical 
science. Where the values of authority Teign, the bandit is a 
criminal traitor, the vito is a breach of the peace inspired by 
the envious nature of mankind, which, as la Rabona ob 
served, is also responsible for the nickname. The food-control 
admittedly can never be defended, but then it is equally the 
enemy of the ruling group. 

I have stressed earlier that the infra-structure is an aspect 
of structure not a segment of the community. One personality 
may stand closer to the sanctions of the law than those of 
the community or vice versa, but every member of the 
pueblo participates to a greater or lesser extent both in the 
formal and also in the infra-structure. The ambivalences 
reflect the individual's participation in two conflicting 
systems of behaviour. It must be realised that neither could 
subsist without the other. A man needs a surname whether 
he has a nickname or not. When he has no nickname his 
surname is used as one. He is at the same time a member of 
the pueblo and a member of the state. The infra-structure 
could not suffice to organise the relations of the community 
without the law. Yet the law can only be applied through 
personal contacts. The two systems are, at the same time, 
interdependent and in opposition. They are both part of the 
same structure. If a tension exists between the two, it is as 
much a condition of the one as of the other. And what 
requires to be explained is not only the source of this tension 
but the ways through which it is resolved. 



THE POSSESSION of verguenza ensures the adherence of 
individuals to the moral standards of the pueblo, and there 
by defines the limits of community. But possession of 
verguenza is not enough in itself to determine conduct. It 
must be related to a common system of ethical values. The 
member of a polygamous society cannot be made to feel 
ashamed of committing bigamy. Common values are a 
necessity if the sanctions of the community are to be effective, 
and therefore it comes as no surprise to find that divergencies 
in values underlie the situations in which the elements of the 
pueblo oppose one another. Here we can summarise the 
main areas of these divergencies. 

The attitude of the educated towards " village patriotism" 
has been noted. Even if they are sons of the pueblo and 
permanent residents there, their ties are wider than the 
horizons of the pueblo. They think of themselves as Andalu- 
sians, but above all as Spaniards. Their national patriotism 
is strong and highly emotional. They speak to the foreigner 
of themselves as "we Spaniards" and they are extremely 
sensitive to his opinion of Spain. Foreigners, they generally 
believe, make a derogatory and unjust evaluation of Spain. 
This belief owes much to Juan Valera's essay La leyenda Negra 
("The Black Legend"), which records with great resent 
ment all the untrue and unjust things which have been 
written with regard to Spain and Spanish history. The middle- 
classes of Andalusia are conscious of the Black Legend and 
believe it to inspire the attitudes of foreign governments to 
wards their country. These feelings are sharpened by a 
political ideology (to which they subscribe at any rate 
superficially) which castigates even its compatriot critics with 
the epithet "anti-Spanish". Those who have no pretensions 
to education, however, often speak of themselves to the 


foreigner as "nosotros de por aqui" ("we, of these parts") or 
"nosotros Andaluces" ("we Andalusians"). They do not 
take it upon themselves to speak for all their countrymen, 
and when they speak of Spain they speak without emotional 
bias. By nature they are Alcalarenos and Andalusians. They 
happen to be Spanish by nationality. 

Certain differences in the values relating to sex have also 
been observed. In general behaviour, women of the educated 
class in Andalusia show a far greater reserve than their men 
folk who possess an easy sociability. The uneducated, on the 
other hand, are often shy compared to their womenfolk whose 
self-confident ease in social intercourse with strangers has 
often won the admiration of travellers. 1 In regard to religious 
values the pueblo and the educated again diverge. Among 
the former, faith is not found to be incompatible with grave 
dogmatic errors and with a lack of respect for the temporal 
order of the Church. Also, the women of the pueblo are much 
more active in devotion than the men, whose attitude is more 
often sceptical and indifferent, if not actually hostile. 

The egalitarianism of the pueblo has been frequently 
stressed. This inevitably comes into conflict with the feelings 
of the well-to-do who, ever more responsive to the goals of a 
social order not the pueblo's, tend to feel superior not on 
account of their value as patrons within the community but 
on account of belonging to a middle-class extraneous to the 
pueblo, and who tend in social behaviour to claim an 
exclusiveness which the values of the pueblo do not admit. 
The present poverty of the pueblo is often blamed upon the 
wealthy families who within the last few decades have moved 
to Jerez. (The explanation was once given by a member of 
the ruling group who added that the capitalists fled on 
account of the activities of the Black Hand and took their 
capital elsewhere, whereafter the industry of Alcala declined.) 
The resentment of economic inequality is not, as has been 
noted, tantamount to a rejection of the idea of private 
property. On the contrary, it is accompanied by the asser 
tion that every man is master of his own property and has 

l E.g. A. dc Latour, Voyage en Espagne (Madrid, 1855) : "II r&ultait quc 
PAndalouse n'existait qu'entre les fUles du peuple." Byron made a similar 


the right to dispose of it as he wishes. The resentment aims 
not so much at the existence of economic inequality as at the 
failure of the rich man to care for those who are less fortunate, 
at his lack of charity. It is not so much the system which is 
wrong, it is the rich who are evil. This accounts for the 
ambivalence which the pueblo feels towards the senorito and 
indeed explains how the system of patronage is morally 
possible. Patronage is good when the patron is good, but 
like friendship upon which it is based it has two faces. It can 
either confirm the superiority of the senorito or it can be 
exploited by the rich man in order to obtain a nefarious 
advantage over poor people. It covers a range of relation 
ships from noble protection of dependents in accordance 
with the moral solidarity of the pueblo to the scurrilous 
coercions of the later period of caciquismo. The system is, 
clearly, only to be judged good in so far as it ensures that 
people do not go hungry, that injustice is not done. Where the 
majority of the community can look to a patron in time of 
need, such a system reinforces the integration of the pueblo 
as a whole. Where those who enjoy the advantages of 
patronage are a minority, then they and their patrons are 
likely to be resented by the remainder. 

The values discussed so far have been deduced from 
observations of behaviour and commonly expressed judge 
ments of behaviour. It is also possible to discern a reflection 
of these in the beliefs of the pueblo. The dangers to which 
children are exposed are not confined to evil winds and 
evil eyes. There is also a belief in a kind of "bluebeard" 
referred to commonly throughout Spain as the sacamantecas, 
though not so called in Alcala, which refers to him only as 
a bad man, or baby-stealer. This personage comes always 
from outside, so that he is not known by anyone in the com 
munity. He may come disguised as a beggar or as a trader. 
He comes alone bearing either a sack or a pitcher and he 
comes for the blood of a healthy child. The disappearance of 
a child can only be accounted for in this way, and, though 
children do not normally disappear, most people can think 
of several stories which they have been told of children 
disappearing and the explanation is that they have been 
stolen. This belief might be derided by sophisticated people 


as something to which only the most gullible would grant 
credence. Yet I am told that cases have occurred during the 
present century of child murders which have been reported 
in the press under the title of "el sacamantecas de . . .". 
Given the existence of the myth it is only a matter of time 
before some deranged individual attempts to incarnate it. 
When asked why the baby-thief comes, the answer is that he 
is hired by a rich man whose child is ill and can only be 
saved by the blood of a healthy baby. Knowledge of the 
practice of blood transfusion in the hospitals of the large 
towns comes to underline the inherent probability of such a 
procedure. In the same way the nebulous character of the 
rich man comes to play a part in the contemporary myth 
ology, and it is always the part of the villain characterised by 
the complete absence of morality. The belief that the land 
has in some way or other been spoilt by the rich men is 
common among the pueblos of the sierra. The explantion 
given in one instance was that the land was good cultivable 
land until the rich owner decided to pasture his flocks on it 
instead of cultivating it. This enabled him to go away and 
leave only a single employee to look after his affairs, and it 
had the effect of throwing the people into unemployment. 
(The man who held this belief was otherwise well aware that 
land which is turned over to pasture does not deteriorate 
but on the contrary improves.) This belief may be related to 
the land tenure of the pueblos of the sierra where the agri 
cultural land is held in small-holdings in contrast to the large 
pastoral estates and which Buffer chronically from over 
population and unemployment. Opposition to the priests and 
the supporters of the Church is expressed in similar beliefs. 
"En la puerta del beato," the saying goes, "no cuelga el 
jato." ("In the doorways of the pious no beggar's blanket is 
to be seen.") In particular, beliefs regarding the sexual 
activities of those under vows of celibacy appear to relate not 
to known facts but to the desire to assert: "They're only 
men, just like us. 39 Such beliefs may be held by individuals 
whose faith in other aspects of religion remains unassailed. 

In the stories regarding treasure hidden by the Moors, the 
part of the villain is played by the state. Certain members of 
the pueblo are known to have discovered hidden treasure. 


but they can never admit to having done so because if the 
state knew, it would confiscate the treasure. Any neighbour 
who discovers the secret can demand half under threat of 
betrayal Consequently it becomes impossible for the 
anthropologist to verify whether any treasure has ever been 
discovered or not. As with the practice of sorcery it is some 
thing which would never be admitted to. The fortunate 
individual to whom the Moor appears and gives instructions 
how to find the horde will only be able to enjoy his good 
fortune on condition that he keeps the secret, 

A symbolical meaning might be read into these stories. 
The hostile state wishes to get its hands upon the pristine 
wealth which lies buried in the pueblo. It can only be 
frustrated through secrecy. For information is a necessity to 
any system of government or, more precisely, to any system 
of sanctions and the force of those of the pueblo have been 
shown to derive from the very closeness of the community. 
Secrecy, the witholding of information, permits conflicting 
social forces to co-exist and gives to this structure the resili 
ence which enables it to persist. Thanks to secrecy the conflict 
between state and local community is resolved. 

"The law" is an abstraction which it is useful to make for 
certain purposes of discussion. Yet when we consider in 
dividual situations it becomes a cloak for ambiguities. Instead, 
we must consider individual personalities and the way in 
which sanctions operate upon them. All laws are not of 
equal value even to the state. The inspector exerts one order 
of sanctions and himself is subject to another. Those which 
the corporal of the Civil Guard exerts are different again, 
and those to which he is subject also. The corporal knows that 
the millers mill, but he does not denounce them to the in 
spector. On the contrary, he connives in maintaining the 
fiction that they do not mill and closes them down only when 
they are in danger from the inspector, for he lives in Alcala 
and must needs be on reasonable terms with the inhabitants 
if he is to fulfil his other duties in pursuing serious crime. The 
solidarity of the whole pueblo in face of the inspector 
permits clandestine milling, a secret shared by all, to go on. 
Anybody could denounce the millers, but nobody does. 
Secrecy operates, then, not merely in order to protect the 


community from the state, the inhabitants from the authori 
ties, but also to protect the authorities, like the inhabitants, 
from each other. Within the pueblo, secrecy must be as com 
plete as possible in order to be effective. To hide a secret 
from one person it is better to hide it from all, while the less 
you tell the less chance there is of the true story being put 
together. Hence the taboo upon gossiping (not merely upon 
old women's chatter but upon giving away information about 
your neighbour), and the continual spying which is its 

Things which are talked of openly in other societies 
become here matters of intrigue. Calla'ito (on the quiet), it is 
explained, is how things are done here. 1 Nobody, least of all 
the inspector, knows what the produce of the land is. Nobody 
can be quite sure whom a piece of land really belongs to. It 
may only be in a man's name and really belong to someone 
else. From this we can see the importance of the client in the 
relationship of patronage. He provides the information 
which enables a patron to appreciate the situation. When 
Curro spoke of selling his huerto the information went back 
to Fernando within a few hours, but Juanito kept his counsel 
and awaited his opportunity. To give away information 
about your affairs puts you in a weak position, for you can 
no longer keep the other man guessing. In relation to the 
same facts it is possible to understand the importance to 
these people of "confidence" and of its counterpart, decep 
tion ; and the value which they attach to the state of the 

Yet the state of the heart is important not because society 
demands constancy but precisely because it does not. Where 
so many relationships are, in response to the fluidity of the 
structure, unstable, the heart provides a guarantee of 
fidelity in time. For it is characteristic of the " Andalusian 
temperament" (and we can here see a structural explanation 
for this fact) that only the present matters. Just as the secret 
and the conventional fictions of good behaviour permit the 

1 "Estas cosas son de mundo y no me pregunte su merced nada, porque mi 
oficio es callar" ("These are matters of the world and may Your Mercy not ask 
me about them, for my job is to keep my mouth shut"), says the smuggler in 
El Ventero. See Angel Saavedra, Duque de Rivas, obras completas, (Madrid); 
first published in Los Espanoles pintados por si mismos (Madrid, 1843). 


adjustments of personal relationships in the present, so the 
"devaluation" of the past permits their readjustment. But 
the heart alone, outside the marriage bond and the compa- 
drazgo, ensures a degree of permanency in human ties. 

But if a margin of fiction exists between the ideal legal 
realm and the reality, it is no less true to say that another 
margin exists between the ideal community and the reality. 
As long as the law is "upheld" to all appearances, the 
power of the state is inviolate and the authorities are 
satisfied. 1 As long as the lack of shame of a person is not 
exposed, then manners demand that he be credited with the 
supposition of shame, for otherwise the principle of com 
munity breaks down. Both the law and the community can 
be seen, finally, as sets of sanctions which defend systems of 
values, both of them largely fictional. 

What then is meant by values ? I have assumed that they 
can be discovered by observing social behaviour, are a kind 
of short-hand term for the choice of conduct which a social 
system imposes. Yet they are not to be derived, in the last 
analysis, from the social reality of action, but rather from 
that other reality which exists only in the minds of the mem 
bers of a society. 

The chosen unit of analysis of this book was a community 
of about three thousand souls within which I have sought to 
find a system of social relations, yet if system it is why should 
it stop there? The whole of Andalusia, of Spain or of Europe 
might equally claim to be a system. This is one of the hoariest 
problems of social anthropology and like most of its kind it 
turns out on closer examination to be a pseudo-problem. One 
delimits the area of one's data according to the techniques 
which one intends to use. In studying any society one must 
face two problems : What is the system of social relations 
within the community? and how is it affected by being part 
of the larger structure of the country, or of the continent? 

The first chapter defined the limits of the community, 
the second how it was linked to the national structure, and, in 

1 Brenan rightly remarks upon the traditional lenience of Spanish justice 
(The Spanish Labyrinth, p. 85). No such tradition of lenience exists in Spain for 
the treatment of heresy. 


effect, they contained the answer to these questions in 
embryo an answer which subsequent chapters have done 
no more than unfold in different spheres. The structure is 
founded upon an evaluation of physical proximity which 
not only orders the grouping within it, through conceptions 
like the neighbour or the pueblo, but also runs through every 
aspect of its culture, from the conventions which govern its 
manners to its ethical principles or its evaluation of space 
and time. This value rests upon the assumption that there is 
no difference in the quality of men, that by nature all are 

Being part of a larger structure in that the community is 
subject to the powers of provincial and central government 
and of persons allied to those powers, whose non-membership 
of the community enables them to escape the sanctions 
whereby its values are maintained is shown to involve a 
violation of the principle of proximity, and the tension 
resulting between state and community is transfused through 
a ruling group thanks to the institution of patronage. 

The nation is an agglomeration of interrelated communi 
ties, founded each upon a territorial basis and linked together 
by other communities of higher social status, greater economic 
means and a more comprehensive territorial scope. But it is 
also a state, a system of authority. Yet state and community 
are different not only in size but in nature. The community 
is essentially composed of identifiable individuals, while the 
state contains only anonymous categories, the products of 
abstraction and generalisation. The sanctions of the com 
munity apply inductively, for covert motives, while those of the 
state are deductive, devolving from some logical code. Law 
must possess a logical consistency since it is framed to apply 
not to particular individuals but to persons unspecified and, 
since it aims to antecede the situations which it will govern, 
unspecifiable. The goddess is blind, but the executive must 
keep its eyes open, for the law in application changes its 
nature and, no longer an abstraction, becomes materialised 
in the person of the town clerk or the tax-collector, a person 
who is a member of a community, who, to do his job must 
have particular information regarding individual personal 
ities. The executive process can be expressed, if one wishes, as 

p.s. 14 


a syllogism : The law provides the major premiss, that which 
in general terms the legislative power commands. The minor 
premiss is filled in by the local executive who determines to 
whom it does in fact apply. The conclusion developing 
logically from these is the action to be taken, 1 But between 
the major premiss established by the legislature and the 
minor premiss which is supplied by knowledge of the 
community stands the hierarchy of the executive. The lower 
an administrator stands in the hierarchy the greater his 
knowledge of detail, and the less his concern with the logic of 
the policy, the greater his dependence upon the local com 
munity and the greater the number of administrative levels 
which separate him from the source of power. There are, 
then, a number of different levels at which the sanctions of 
law balance the sanctions of personal relations and permit 
the power of the state to adapt itself to the local community. 
In this book I have been concerned only to show in detail 
how this adaptation is effected in the example of a distant 
mountain town. The facts are unique, but the principles 
which they illustrate are not. The tension between local 
community and central state is certainly not unique, if 
indeed it is not inherent in every structure of authority, but 
the mode of resolving it is particular to one culture and one 
environment, and to one time* Where similar conditions 
reign there will, I trust, be found similarities in the solution, 
and this study may then, as I would hope, be of some use, 

i To illustrate this point I offer the following example which, needless to 
$ay, has nothing to do with Alcald. Let us suppose that: 

(Major premiss) The legislature wishes to impose a tax upon taxi-drivers. 

(Minor premiss) The executive decides that X is a taxi-driver. 

(Conclusion) X must pay the tax. 
But under certain social conditions the following variation is possible : 

(Minor premiss) It is said that X plies for hire with his motor-car, yet when the 
executive authorities ask him to drive them he does not charge anything. 

(Conclusion) X does not require a licence, he is a friend. He need pay nothing. 


The Present and the Past 

I HAVE TRIED in this book to describe and explain the social 
structure of a pueblo of the Sierra de Cadiz as it exists in the 
present, and where I have referred to the more or less distant 
past I have done so haphazardly with no other object than 
to illuminate the point under discussion through an analogy 
or a contrast which the reader was left at liberty to take or 
leave. I have, in the main, resisted the temptation to prove 
anything observed today through a reference to its historical 
origin or to explain any historical facts through an analogy 
with the present. I have done this in recognition of the limita 
tions of my theme and my material and" not through any 
methodological stricture regarding the relevance of the 
diachronic view. On the contrary, the structure of a society 
at a given moment, whether its past has been recorded or not, 
appears to me to be very largely determined by its previous 
state. That this should be the case is not merely a matter of 
common-sense observation. The very perplexity which sur 
rounds the use of the word "system " 1 in a sociological context 
relates to the fact that societies exist in the dimension of 
time (like a piece of music but unlike a drawing) in the 
sense that time is an element of their constitution and that 
their nature at any given moment is reducible to systematic 
terms only by extending that moment to include at any rate 
an hypothetical time-depth. What is done today makes sense 
only in conjunction with what was done yesterday, last year 
or in the last generation. Thus an analysis of the family 
system anywhere must consider the individual family over a 
period of several generations, while an even longer time- 
span may be necessary in order to evaluate the significance 
of the family within, say, the political structure. The term 
"social present" has been used in order to bring within a 

i A problem touched on in the introduction 



single conceptual scheme events which have in fact occurred 
at different times. But this mode of reasoning is open to the 
logical criticism that if they occurred at different times the 
whole system may have changed meanwhile. They may not 
be part of the same "social present" at all. Admitting this 
for what it is worth, social structure remains an abstraction of 
a moment in a temporal process which stands between a 
previous and a subsequent state and, thanks precisely to the 
disequilibrium in its component elements what might be 
termed the functional maladjustments of the society leads 
from one to the other. 

This process is the study of the social historian, and the 
rules which govern it are the subject, ultimately, of the 
philosophy of history, though such historians as have at 
tempted to schematise them have not seen their efforts 
greeted with universal approval, least of all among their 
colleagues. Entering the field of history, I certainly do not 
hope to improve upon the endeavours of its legitimate holders. 
But the formulation of sociological theory has been frustrated 
by the difficulty of agreeing whether any two societies are 
truly comparable, whether the rule formulated from the 
study of one can be expected to hold good in any other, or 
whether, on the contrary no rule can be formulated in terms 
which cover the contingencies as varied as are found in 
different cultures. Yet while it may with some justice be 
conceded that no two social facts drawn from different social 
contexts are comparable it cannot be denied that those of a 
given society are comparable with others of the same society 
at a different period. History offers, then, if the required 
historical data are available, the possibility of checking the 
formulations derived from the present by reference to the 
past. By looking backward in time the phenomena regarded 
as conditionally related together may be seen, or not, in 
coexistence with one another. The social anthropologist enters 
the field of history not to teach the historian but to seek to 
ratify his conclusions regarding the present. The purpose of 
this appendix is to take, briefly, such a backward glance. 

The hypothesis which I have derived from this analysis , 
of the way of life of the people of the sierra can be formu 
lated for our purpose in the following terms : 


A structural tension exists between the sanctions devolving 
from the local community and those devolving from the 
central government of the country. In this instance the 
tension is visible in every social sphere from the relations of 
the sexes to the medical techniques, and from the institution 
of friendship to that of the bandit. It corresponds to a conflict 
between the values of authority and those of equality. In 
deed, a community such as this in which the principle of 
proximity is the foundation of social solidarity, in which the 
individual physical presence is evaluated above all abstract 
conceptions, cannot expect to find its needs respected five 
hundred miles away by masters whom it will never set eyes 
on. Yet these same conflicting values are both of them neces 
sary to the structure of the community itself, as well as to the 
country as a whole. This tension is resolved through a hier 
archy of patronage and through conventions of secrecy and 
fiction which have been shown to be essential to the system 
as it exists, even though they do not lack their native critics. 

I have postulated that this tension stands in relation to the 
divergence in values and the degree of contact between the 
central government and the community, in the sense that 
the greater the difference in culture and values between 
state and community on the one hand, and on the other the 
shorter the effective spatial distance and the greater the 
political pressure exerted by the state, the more this tension 
increases. For conflict implies, by definition, first of all a 
basis of difference and secondly a ground of common contact, 
and applied to the situation in question these two factors can 
be seen to have changed considerably during the recent past. 
According to these changes, the postulated theory will, if it 
be true, apply as well in 1852 as in 1952, and as well in 1752 
as in 1852. A review of the social history of the sierra during 
the past two hundred years should reflect changes in the 
social structure in terms of this contention. 

The year 1 752 happens to make a convenient chronological 
starting-point thanks to the survey carried out in that year 
by the agents of the Marques de Campo Verde, Intendant- 
General of the Kingdom of Granada. 

The government of Spain had made little effort to control 


or inform itself of local affairs since the reign of Philip II, but 
in the middle of the eighteenth century a new spirit began to 
inspire the rulers of the state. Energetic measures were intro 
duced with the object of simplifying and rationalising the 
process of government, and in order to achieve this end 
unification and centralisation became the order of the day. 
The eighteenth century saw the foundation of many of the 
state services. Communications, agriculture, industry, hy 
giene, even the dress of the populace became the objects of 
concern to the royal ministers, who for a hundred and fifty 
years had worried little about what went on outside Madrid. 
Systems of roads were built, schemes of agricultural credit 
and interior colonisation were put into effect. The royal 
enterprises extended all over the country. The Real Haci 
enda was entirely reformed. A great catastral survey was 
ordered in the middle of the century by the Marques de la 
Ensenada which should provide the information necessary to 
establish an economic and effective system of taxation to take 
the place of the myriad tithes, rights and participations which 
supported the different institutions of the central power. The 
Marques de Campo Verde's inquiry was initiated in this 
intention. A whole volume of statistics relating to the econ 
omy of each pueblo of the Kingdom of Granada and Alcala 
was still a part of that kingdom was collected during the 
years 1752-54. 1 A total of forty questions lays bare the situa 
tion of the pueblo, its demography, its agricultural and in 
dustrial wealth, its wage and price levels, its municipal 
budget, the rights and taxes paid or enjoyed by its inhabi 
tants and the economy of the ecclesiastical foundations 
within its confines. How far its figures are to be trusted need 
not concern us here for we shall not examine them in suffi 
cient detail, but misgivings are inspired by a certain note of 
truculence which creeps into the text. Some of the answers, 
though they were sworn on oath before the parish priest as 
commissary of the Holy Office, 2 are regarded in Granada as 
unsatisfactory and in December the following year a further 

1 Preserved in the Archives of the Casa de los Tiros, Granada, to whose 
director I am most grateful for the permission given to consult them. 

2 The Church today does not regard the declaration required by the 
economic controls as morally binding. A false declaration is not a sin. 


inquiry is initiated to supplement them. To the com 
missioner it is explained that the answers given in the first 
inquiry were not true anyway: ". . . they said that the 
declaration in question was made at the violent persuasion 
of Don Juan de Perez the commissioner who conducted the 
first inquiry who put down whatever he thought fit". 
Clearly, the ancestors of the modern Alcalarenos knew as well 
as their descendants how to defend themselves from the 
authorities. Nevertheless, one is able to form some idea from 
this document of the structure of the pueblo. 

In many ways it is remarkably similar. There are rather 
more inhabitants and rather more land under cultivation. 
The cloth industry is flourishing. Alcala exports ice but no 
charcoal. The municipal organisation is much the same. A 
budget of 37,000 reales (roughly the same value as today, 
calculated in relation to individual wages) provides much 
the same services in regard to health, the protection of 
property, the organisation of religious festivals and com 
mercial fairs. The significant differences may be summed up 

To begin with, the position of the Church is very different 
both materially, and, as it would appear from subsequent 
events, morally. It is by far the largest land-owner. The in 
come of the ecclesiastical foundations of Alcala from their 
properties, tithes and chaplaincies is greater than the 
municipal budget. There are thirty-four ecclesiastics living 
there altogether priests, chaplains and members of religious 
orders, and a convent of Discalced Carmelites as well. The 
parish priest bears a notably Alcalareno name as do most of 
the incumbents of chaplaincies, though there are probably 
outsiders among their number and there is also mention of 
"those that come and go". The services rendered to the 
community by the Church, other than its ritual functions, 
include education and the support of a hospital. 

At court, rational ideas went hand-in-hand with anti- 
clericalism, and a struggle developed between Church and 
State which led to the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1768. Yet 
there is no reason to suppose that any such sentiments lurked 
in the pueblo of Alcala, and when, much later, the troops of 
the French Revolution beseiged the town the inhabitants 


defended themselves stoutly in the same church which their 
descendants were to burn down in 1936. One of the more 
famous guerrilla leaders of the sierra during the French 
occupation was a priest of Ubrique. 

Extensive common lands are owned by the inhabitants 
collectively, and the municipal budget is balanced by the 
rents which the Town Hall receives from its possessions. At 
this period the state takes no interest in local communica 
tions, and the municipality must pay for the work which it 
wishes to have done upon its roads and bridges. But on the 
other hand it is free of the charge of the services which the 
religious foundations perform. There is no indication of any 
absentee landlords drawing rent from the community and 
living elsewhere upon it. Nevertheless, the statistics claim no 
fewer than three hundred beggars "who go from door to 
door" against a mere two hundred and fifty journeymen. 
Such figures cannot be regarded without suspicion, for the 
object of the inquiry was to estimate the capacity of the pueblo 
to pay taxes and the poorer it could be made to appear the 
less it might reasonably expect to pay. Moreover, Antonio 
Ponz, passing through twenty years later, remarks on the 
prosperity of the place and the lack of beggars. 

The status differences between the qualities of person 
no longer have any practical importance, but seigniorial 
rights are still of political and economic value. The Marques 
de Cadiz, the ancestor of the Duke of Arcos, was given the 
seigniory of the town of Alcala together with that of Jacinas, 
Benalurin and San Martin in exchange for that of Cadiz. 
(He had conquered them personally from- the Moors, or more 
literally, he had sacked them and burned them to the 
ground.) These four towns are still, in the eighteenth 
century, administered integrally as the demesne (estado) of 
the Duke. He does not appear to have owned property there 
personally, but his seigniorial right entitles him to appoint 
the corregidor, the chief judicial officer of the demesne, and 
also certain other officials in the towns. As a result of this the 
political unity of the four towns appears closer than it does 
today. The Duke's agent lives in Alcala and collects the tithes 
and taxes due to him. These comprise a third share of the 
grain and livestock tithes ("tercio diezmo grano y ganado"), 


a right ofveintena worth 2,200 reales per annum, a tax which 
was farmed out to anyone who would rent it, and he also 
owns the nionopoly of the seven ice-pits upon the mountain 
and a share in certain of the censos. Thanks to their belonging 
to the same demesne, the pastures of the four towns are 
common to the inhabitants of all and the services of certain 
municipal employees are shared. The Duke of Arcos is the 
magnate of the plains to the west where his great properties 
lie, yet Alcala and the other towns of the demesne belong to 
the partido of Ronda and the Kingdom of Granada. The 
rentas provinciates and alcabala (excise) are paid to Ronda. 

Other taxes are paid in various ways and to various recipi 
ents. The first fruits, primicia, are paid to the parish priest. 
The tithes (less the Duke of Arcos' third) to the Bishopric of 
Malaga, which also possesses a fiscal exemption for a business 
enterprise which it owns there. A voto, an endowment worth 
150 fanegas of corn, is paid to the cathedral of Santiago de 
Galicia. The Royal Purse owns the salt-mines, a royal mono 
poly throughout the country. The only tax paid direct to the 
Treasury is the excise upon strong liquors, and that is farmed 
out to a neighbour of Alcala. There are also two taxes, 
utensilio and paja, totalling the value of over 9,000 reales, 
paid to Seville for the support of the Army, and this tax is 
particularly resented. The poverty of the pueblo is explained 
as being due to it. This tax is distributed among the inhabi 
tants by the Town Hall, which has the responsibility of 
paying it collectively for the whole community. The Mesta 
claims 60 reales per annum from the municipality. 

The system is complicated, and its lack of unification is 
significant. Political power is not centralised in the hands of 
any one authority but is divided between institutions which 
have their seat in various places. Moreover, the people who 
occupy posts in the pueblo are not civil servants appointed 
from Madrid as members of a professional corps but em 
ployees of the pueblo. The majority have names which indi 
cate that they are sons of the pueblo. Those whose names are 
qualified in the questionnaire with a mention of their origin 
are all from near-by pueblos. 

This picture is far from adequate and gives no indication 
of the internal conflicts which may have divided Alcala. The 


community is certainly not free from outside interference, 
though the authorities appear to allow the municipal 
government a high degree of autonomy. A host of powers 
external to the pueblo have the right to claim some tax or 
service there even an agent of the Admiralty comes to 
demand wood from the forests. The high cost involved in 
collecting and forwarding in money or in kind these some 
times quite small sums is considerable without counting the 
legal expenses in which the Town Hall involves itself through 
challenging them in a quantity of lawsuits and pleas. Yet 
there are no signs at this time of the social unrest which 
characterises a later period, and the Church appears to be on 
good terms with the temporal authority. The Town Hall 
gives alms to the nuns and to the diocesan treasury, and 
rather unexpectedly one discovers the account of the sale of 
bulls inserted in its finances between the Treasury's tax upon 
strong liquor and the unpopular contribution to the support 
of the cavalry in Seville. (Almost as much money is raised by 
the bulls as is paid to the Army.) The Church still sanctions 
the authority of the state, and the state has not yet attacked 
the material position of the Church. 

I shall perhaps be pardoned for recalling some of the 
changes in the Spanish social scene which separate this 
period from modern times. 

The rationalisation of government in the second half of 
the eighteenth century took place within the traditional 
framework. Revolutionary ideas do not appear until the 
nineteenth century. Then, after a series of rebellions and 
counter-rebellions, of constitutions and absolutist decrees, 
the Liberal epoch opens. "Liberal", in Spanish politics, 
meant, first and foremost, anti-clerical. From the beginning 
of the century anti-clericalism, which had previously been 
confined to the court and the intellectuals, spread to the 
middle classes and the Army. It was not until the second half 
of the century that it became common in the pueblo. Under 
the influence of the Liberal government a social and econ 
omic revolution succeeded the political revolution. By 1852 
the structure of the pueblo of Alcald had changed funda- 


mentally. The Kingdom of Granada and the seigniorial 
demesne have vanished. The province has come into existence. 
The church lands have been confiscated and placed on the 
market, and the great acorn forest which was common land 
has been sold into private hands also. A small part of it was 
cleared and distributed in small individual holdings among 
the pueblo. A new land-owning class has come into existence 
in Andalusia who owe their position to their skill in business, 
but whose landed possessions, acquired at the expense of the 
Church, soon convert them into good churchmen. 

The Liberal government continued to extend its powers 
from the moment it acquired them and, faced with the 
rebellion in the north, found itself forced to build up a 
standing army, paid for at first by money raised from ex 
propriations, which for political reasons no one could subse 
quently afford to reduce. Shortly after the war, the creation of 
the Civil Guard relieved the local community of its responsi 
bilities regarding the evil-doers and the highwaymen. The 
numbers of state servants multiply and re-multiply. Repre 
sentatives of government-controlled institutions penetrate to 
the pueblo. So, when Garcia Oviedo 1 sees a tendency to 
wards decentralisation from 1877-1935 this is true only in 
regard to the competence of the municipality in matters of 
law. The power which the state relinquishes is not given to the 
pueblo but to its servants in the pueblo. (It was precisely in 
1877 that a law was first passed projecting schools for munici 
pal functionaries.) We can see then that this development 
involves not only placing the affairs of the local community 
under the control of the state and accumulating information 
regarding the pueblo in the offices of the central administra 
tion. It also means participation in the internal affairs of the 
pueblo by agents whose fundamental loyalty is to the state. 

During the period in which all this occurs the schism in 
the values of the pueblo becomes visible. While the Church 
maintained its properties it appears to have held the loyalty 
of the whole pueblo, for, apart from the prestige which it 
enjoyed in the role of patron within the local community, 
its values were those of the pueblo. But the power of the 
people who replaced it in this respect was sanctioned by no 
* Garcia Oviedo, op. cit. See footnote on page 14. 


religious principle but only by their right of property or by 
a state appointment. The impersonal, morally neutral 
doctrines of liberal economy have replaced the theocratic 
society. The place of the Church is taken by the cacique: 
Authority comes no longer from God but from Madrid. 

Even before the development of the Anarchist Movement 
there are signs of a profound social discontent. The rising of 
Perez del Alamo in 1 86 1 raised an army of 1 0,000 men against 
the established order, while the first Anarchist newspaper 
was not founded until 1869. It appears that the pueblos of 
Andalusia did not require a political doctrine in order to rebel. 

When, after the abortive federalism of 1873, the middle 
classes of Andalusia made their peace with Madrid the exten 
sion of the Anarchist Movement was rapid. The pueblos of 
the Serrania de Ronda were fertile ground for the new move 
ment. Whether the scarcity of Civil Guards, which also 
made the country favourable for bandits and smugglers, 1 en 
couraged Anarchism, whether the doctrine was propagated 
through the network of the system of contraband, the moun 
tains quickly became a stronghold. Of the sections which 
sent either delegates or messages of sympathy to the Seville 
Congress of the Federaci6n de Trabaj adores de la region 
Espanola in 1882, those of the pueblos of the sierra represent 
a far higher percentage of their total population than do 
those of the larger towns of the plain. They appear to include 
not merely the artisans who formed the main body of the 
anarchists in the capitals and large towns but, in many cases, 
the bulk of agricultural labourers. When the law forced the 
movement underground it was here that the Black Hand 
made its appearance. 

Much has been written regarding the Anarchist Movement 
which I shall not attempt to reiterate. What has not been 
adequately stressed is the extent to which, in Andalusia, the 
social background of the pueblo influenced the movement. 
Its moralism, its naturalism, its messianic belief, its insistence 
upon justice 2 and order in the organisation of social relations, 

1 Bernaldo de Quiros and others have stressed the close association between 
the anarchists and the bandits. 

2 The telegrams to the congress of 1882 which came from Catalonia and the 
north ring with phrases like "ideas anarco-sindicalistas". Those from the sierra 
talk only of justice and the just cause of the people. 


its refusal at the same time to tolerate any authority not 
vested in the community, to admit any basis of social 
organisation other than the pueblo, the natural unit of 
society, provide some justification for regarding it as the 
product of a tension within the structure of the local com 
munity. Yet this must not be taken as an excuse for overlook 
ing the differences which can be seen to have existed in 
modern times between the values of the pueblo and those of 
the anarchists. Though the pueblo tends to show hostility to 
the temporal order of the Church the powers of religion play 
an all-important part in its institutions, and indeed its 
solidarity is expressed in its relation to the patron saint. Yet 
Anarchism went further than hostility to the temporal order, 
and even than church-burning. It prescribed a complete 
rejection of all religion, the substitution of salutations such as 
Salud (health or salvation) for the conventional Vqya Vd. con 
Dies or Adios and the elimination of the powers of religion 
from the vocabulary of everyday use. The anarchist sections 
from towns named after saints to the congress of 1882 fre 
quently refer to their pueblo without the San, thus "Jose del 
Valle" for "San Jose del Valle". The avowed rationalism 
of the anarchists condemned the activities of the sabias as 
superstition and condemned the doctrines of religion on the 
same grounds. They attacked not only the idea of patronage 
and social inequality but also the festival of the bull-fight, 
alcohol and sexual promiscuity, all the flamboyant symbols 
of Andalusian culture. It would be quite wrong to conclude 
therefore that the anarchists represented the values of the 
pueblo as a whole. They represented, rather, a reaction 
against the imposition of new influences upon the traditional 
structure of the pueblo. 

A further refinement is required at this point. In reality 
we can no more discuss "Anarchism" than we can discuss 
"witchcraft". We can only analyse the social significance of 
the latter by taking the witch and examining her relation 
ship to the pueblo. Let us try therefore to see not Anarchism 
but the anarchist. Diaz del Moral has observed the import 
ance of a small nucleus of convinced anarchists "los obreros 
concientes" 1 upon whom the whole movement depended. In 

i Diaz del Moral, op. dt. 


the speech of those who today remember pre-war times "los 
que tenian ideas" (those who had ideas) appear to indicate 
a similar category. The Anarchist Movement appears, then, 
as a certain number of convinced anarchists, a small per 
centage of the pueblo, who enjoy the support of the great 
majority of the pueblo upbn certain occasions, but who are 
simply members of the pueblo for the remainder of the 
time like the sabia and who have no great influence upon 
events. The attitude towards them appears to have been 
ambivalent from the accounts of those who are prepared 
to discuss them. Moreover, such an explanation would 
account for the characteristics noted in the history of the 
movement, the lack of formal organisation and discipline, 
the suddenness with which the rebellions break out and the 
equal suddenness with which they subside. It would also 
account for the apparent indifference on the part of the rank 
and file towards the dogmas of the movement. 

To what extent they accepted them as articles of faith is a 
thing which cannot be said, any more than it is possible to 
say whether the artisans of the capital cities attached the 
same significance to them as the peasants of the sierra. The 
evolution of the Anarchist Movement in Andalusia was 
away from the primitive messianic Anarchism and towards a 
more urban conception of revolution. 1 The doctrine of the 
General Strike which dominated the movement from the 
beginning of the twentieth century implied collective action 
on a wider basis than the pueblo, however much this 
implication was resisted, and this tendency was carried still 
further with the organisation of the C.N.T. upon a national 
scale and the predominance within it of syndicalist ideas. 
Some evidence has been put forward to suggest that during 
the period of the Civil War certain tensions were visible 
between the anarchists of the large towns and those of the 
surrounding pueblos. The requirements of organisation in 
time of war made necessary a kind of authority which 

i Messianic Anarchism continued to exist in the country districts (e.g. the 
rising at Casas Viejas in 1934), and the mentality which goes with it remained 
the basis of the faith upon which the political association was founded. The 
resistance to becoming a national organisation was very strong, for it was 
recognised that it involved the sacrifice of an essential value, the sovereignty 
of the local community. 


inevitably ran counter to the conceptions of the anarchists of 
the pueblo. It is said that since the war the underground 
political opposition in Andalusia has been entirely com 
munist, this in spite of the fact that Communism had no 
previous importance there. 

Seen in the dimension of time, the Anarchist Movement 
in the pueblos of the sierra does indeed appear as a develop 
ment in the relationship of the pueblo to the state, in the 
conflict between the values of the community and those of 
the central power and its allies. It is born after the power 
of the Church has been destroyed by the growing state and 
its place in the structure of the pueblo has been taken by a 
class of no longer anti-clerical property-owners. It ends 
when the state, having destroyed the anarcho-syndicalist 
syndicate, imposes the reign of syndicalism. During that time 
the spirit of the Anarchist Movement has changed and its 
centre of balance has moved from the pueblo to the big city. 

In this process the state is seen encroaching upon the 
functions which were formerly vested in the community, in 
creasing its influence there and imposing decisions made in 
Cadiz or Madrid upon the internal affairs of the pueblo. 
Yet today the divergence between the national rulers and 
the pueblo grows less. State education, the radio, the cinema, 
easy communications and the experience of military service 
all in their different ways carry the culture of urban society 
to Alcala. The pueblo adapts itself to new political and 
technological influences. Meanwhile, the fundamental values 
of Andalusian society persist, for they are common to the 
whole culture, the whole population of the South. Thanks 
to them the different elements of the structure hold together. 
They give to Andalusia its historical continuity, the stamp 
of its character. 

Glossary of Spanish Words 

These words are defined as they are used in 
Alcala ; certain, variations of meaning will be 
seen to exist between that given in this 
Glossary and that given in a dictionary. 

agua robada. Literally, stolen water, i.e. water diverted 
clandestinely from the communal stream. 

alcahueta. A gossip; hence alcahueteria, scandalmongering. 

aparceria. An arrangement whereby land is exploited in 
partnership between two or more people; hence aparcero, a 
person with whom such an arrangement is made. 

bruja. A witch; one who employs magic for evil ends; an un 
complimentary way of referring to a sabia. 

cabron. Literally, he-goat (not used in this sense); a cuckold; 
cabrito, a kid or he-goat. 

cacique. A local political boss; usually, in Andalusia, a land 
owner; hence caciquismo, the system whereby, during the 
epoch of constitutional government, political elections were 
arranged by the cacique. 

calio. An evil and involuntary power associated with menstrua 

camelar. To compliment; to deceive with flattery; hence 
camelo, a tall story or nonsense. 

campina. The agricultural plain. 

cara dura. Literally, hard-faced; shameless. 

casino. The recreational club to which leading personalities of 
the pueblo belong. 

celos. Jealousy or zeal; en celo, on heat (used of animals); 
celosa, jealous or zealous; a person possessing calio. 

cojones. Literally, testicles; hence courage, manliness. 

compadrazgo. The relationship between the parent and the 
god-parent; hence compadre, the person in such a relation 
ship to another. 

confianza. Confidence; willingness to enter into friendship with 
a person. 

consuegro. The parent of a person's child's spouse (from suegro, 
a parent-in-law). 


corredor. A professional broker; a person who assists in arrang 
ing deals. 

curandero. A person empowered either by knowledge or grace 
or a combination of the two to heal human beings or 
domestic animals, other than a person officially qualified to 
do so. 

desgracia. The loss of grace; hence desgraciado, unfortunate; 
disgraced; ill-blessed. 

encargado. Charged with a duty; hence a person placed in 

charge, a bailiff. 
feria. A fair. 

la fiscalia. The food control organisation or the members of it. 
flamenco. Popular music of Andalusia. 
forastero. A person from outside the pueblo, translated in the 

text as "outsider". 
ganado. Livestock; hence ganadero, one who has to do with 

livestock; herdsman or herd owner. 
gracia. Grace; a favour or free gift; grace in movement; the 

power to evoke admiration or laughter; supernatural power; 

grace in the religious sense; gracias, thanks. 
hombre bueno. One who intervenes in a law suit on behalf of 

one of the parties engaged. 
hombria. Manliness. 
huerta. An irrigated farm; an irrigated valley; hence hortelano, 

one who cultivates irrigated land; huerto, small plot of 

irrigated land. 
jopo. The tail of an animal; augmentative, jopon, person living 

in the upper quarter of the town; jopiche, diminutive of 

jopo, a person living in the lower quarter of the town. 
maestro. A schoolmaster; maestro nacional, a schoolmaster 

qualified by the State who teaches in State schools; maestro 

rural, a man who gives lessons to children on the farms. 
matador. A killer, either of bulls or pigs. 
maton. A bully or thug; a person employed to intimidate others. 
matriculacion. The municipal tax upon industrial and com 
mercial enterprises. 
a medias. Half-shares; hence medianeria, an arrangement 

whereby an enterprise is shared between the owner and the 

exploiter; medianero, one who exploits an undertaking on 

such a basis. 
naturaleza. Nature; essence; the place of a person's birth; hence 

natural, native of a place. 
novio, novia. Fiancee; boy-friend, girl-friend; hence noviazgo, 

the institution of courtship. 


padrino. God-parent; sponsor; a powerful person who protects 
and favours. 

partido judicial. A number of municipalities grouped together 
for certain administrative purposes. 

patrono. A patron; an employer. 

poblacion. Population; an inhabited place. 

prirno. Cousin; foolish person; mug; primo hennano, first 

pueblo. Town or village; those who live in the place; plebs; 

rancho. A cottage outside the town; hence rancnero, a country- 
dweller, particularly a small farmer. 

reja. The iron bars upon a window; the place where courting is 
sometimes done. 

remanentes. The waters of a mill-stream or irrigation channel 
which continue to flow after the main stream has been cut off. 
Also mispronounced, romanientes. 

sabia. A wise woman; one empowered by grace and knowledge 
to perform magical acts. See bruja. 

sacamantecas. A "bluebeard"; a baby-stealer. 

sin vergiienza. One who has no shame; a social outcast. 

termino. The territory of a municipality. 

tertulia. A group of friends, united in an habitual meeting- 

los terrazgos or terrajos. An area of very small cultivable land 

vecino, vecina. A neighbour; the status of an emancipated per 
son inscribed in the Parish Register; formerly the head of a 

vergiienza. Shame. 


Accinipa, 2 

Admiralty, 218 

Affinal ties, 105 et seq., 1 19 

Agriculture, Ministry of, 36 

Alba, Duchess of, 141 

Alcahueta (gossip), 144, 193, 207 

Algar, 3 

Algeciras, 19, 55 

Amorpropio, 91 

Anarchism, 17-19, 42, 53, 61, 125, 

127, 130-1, 133, i53~4 ? J 59> 


Ancient Greece, 26 
Aparceria (see half-shares), 43, 45 
Aragon, Kingdom of, 14 
Arcos, Duke of, 5, 216-7 

Bandit, 51, 130-2, 141, 165, 178 

etseq., 200-1, 213, 220 
Barcelona, 50, 126 
BAROJA, pfo. Las Noches del Bum 

Retiro (Madrid, 1934), 80 
, , Cesar o Nada (Madrid, 

1912), 141 
Beggars, 27-8, 33, 54, 59-61, 68, 

74~5> l6 5> l8 5~ 6 > !93> 204-5, 

Benalurln, 3, 8-10, 12, 21, 39, 122, 

124, 216 

Benamahoma, 40 
Benaocaz, 12-13 
Benaojan, u 

y la Colonizacidn Interior de Espana 

desde el Siglo XVI al JT/JT (Madrid, 

1929), 4, 181 


ARDILA, LUIS, El Bandolerismo 
(Madrid, 1931), 141? 180-1, 

Berners, Lady, 187 

Black Hand, 4, 73, 203, 220 

P.S. 15 

BLASCO IBANEZ, v., La Bodega (Va 
lencia, 1905), 73 

BORROW, GEORGE, The Gypsies of 
Spain, 187 

BRENAN, GERALD, The Spanish Laby 
rinth (Cambridge, 1943), 17, 28, 
39, 76, 132 

, , The Face of Spain, 128 

Buena conducta, 17 

Buleria, 170 

Bulls, bullfight, 11, 36, 69-70, 78, 

Byron, 203 

Gabaneria, 37 

Cacique, cadquismo, 17, 75, 135, 141, 

157, I59 ? l6 8> 182, 204, 220 
Cddiz, 3-4, 1 1, 19, 23, 39, 56, 120, 

211, 2l6 

Cadiz, Marques de, 216 


dopedia Manual Juridico-Admini- 

strativo (1933), 17? i? 
Calio, 192, 197 etseq. 
Cakario, 3, 10 
Campanilismo, 30 
Campina, 2, 39, 50 
Campo Verde, Marque's de, 50, 


Carlist War, 17, 219 
Carnaval, 176 et seq. 


(San Sebastian, 1949), 137 
9 , Andlisis de la Cultura 

(Barcelona^ 1949), 17^ 
j , "Las 'nuevas pobla- 

ciones' de Sierra Morena y 

Andalucia," in Clavileno, 1952 

(no. 18), 181 
? 9 Algunos Mitos Espanoles 

(Madrid, 1944)? X 93 


CARRi6N, PASCUAL, Los Latifundios 

en Espana (Madrid, 1932), 39 
Casa de los Tiros, Granada, 214 
Casino, 2, 27, 67, 77, 87, 122, 134- 

*35> 162 
Castile, 39 

Castile, Kingdom of, 14 
Catalonia, 220 
CELA, CAMILO jos, La Familia de 

Pascual Duarte (Madrid 1942), 


Cervantes, 80 
Cicero, 179 
Civil Guard, 16-18, 23, 28, 67, 72, 

122, 126, 129-33, i45> J 47> 

156-7, 170-1, 174-5, *8o, 182- 

186, 193, 200, 206, 220 
Class, (social), 32, 34, 80-1, 

"8-9, 125 
.Class, middle, 81, 157, 203, 218, 

Communications, 4, 17, 22-3, 49, 

55-6, 135, 214, 216, 223 
Compadres, compadrazgo t 32, 107 et 

seq., 138, 142, 153, 208 
Compadres de Carnaval, 107, 176 
ConsuegrO) 76, 96, 106-7 
Cordoba, 19, 141, 181 
Comdor, dealer, 33, 39, 57-9, 64, 

129, 186-7 

Corrientes, Diego, 179-80 
Cortes, 184 
Courting (see JVbz/io), 6, 9, 13, 68, 

93^^,98, 100-1, 106 
Cousin, 103-6, m 
Cuba, 4 

Cuckold, n 6, 164, 172 
Cursi, 80 

DIAZ DEL MORAL, j, Histona de 
las Agitaciones Campesinas Anda- 
luzas (Madrid, 1929), 19, 61, 
181, 221 

Doctor, 1 6, 66-7, 72, 124, 199-200 

Don, 72-4, 81, 83 

DOUGLAS, NORMAN, Old Calabria 
(London, 1915), 162 


DUMONT, LOUIS, La Tarasque, (Paris, 

'95i)> 78 

DURCKHEIM, EMILE, De la Division 
du Travail Social (Paris, 1902), 

Economic change or decline, 4, 

Education, 61, 71-1, 75-7, 84, 

102, 124-5, !4 8 , 190, 192, 201, 

Education, lack of, 105, 113, 192, 


El Castor, 10, 17-18, 24, 28 
Eljaral, 2,9, 10-11,24,55,58 
ElViso, ii 
EmpadronamientOy 8 
Ensenada, Marques de la, 214 
ESTAMPA, 1934, Z 8s 

EVANS-PRITCHARD, E. E., Witchcraft, 

Oracles and Magic among the 
Azande (Oxford, 1937), 195 
Evil Eye, 198 et seq., 204 

Feria, 8, 69 


ciples of Power (New York, 1942), 


Flores, 182 

Folklore, 10, 12, 96, '133, 170 

Ford, Richard, i 

FOSTER, GEORGE M., Empire's Chil 
dren (Smithsonian Institute), 


Freud, 118 
Friend, friendship, 23, 28, 32, 43, 

59-61, 64, 68, 88, 104, 106-9, 

in, 119-20, 131, 137 et seq., 

160, 168, 210, 213 
Fuenteovejuna, 19, 158 

Gago, Mateos, 55 
Galica, 14 

GARCIA OVIEDO, Derecho Admini 
strative (Madrid, 1951), 14, 219 
Gaucin, 184 ' 


Gibraltar, 26, 58, 184, 192 
GONZALEZ, JULIO, Repartimiento de 

Sevilla (Madrid, 1951), 39 
Governor, 15, 23, 122 et seq. 
Gratia, 189 etseq. 
Granada, Kingdom of, i, 4, 50, 

Grazalema, 11, 13 
Guadalete, 55 
Guadalmesi, 3, 5, 10, 13, 20, 33, 

39, 42, 50, 170-1, 1 80 
Gypsies, 33, 48, 60, 70, 164, 174, 

1 86 et seq. 3 198 

Half-shares (see aparceria)^ 38-9, 

HARDY, THOMAS, The Mayor of 

Casterbridge> 170 
Haro, ii 

Bell Tolls, 132 
Hombre Bueno, 129 
Hortelanoy 41, 48, 52-3, 90-1, 126, 


Housing, 3-5, 46, 99 
Huerto, Huerta (see irrigation), 4, 

40-1, 43-4, 52, 90, 142 et seq., 



Juan el Nene, 182 

Jus sanguinis, 30 

Jus soli, 30 

Justice of the Peace, 129-30 

Labourers (see Wages), 3, 4, 17, 
23> 27, 32, 37, 42-3, 45, 48, 59, 
83, 99, 132, 134, 216, 220 

La Carolina, 31 

Lacidula, i 

La Linea, 192 

La Mancha, 39 

Land-owners, 16, 25, 37-9, 43-6, 
51-2, 58-9, 66-9, 72-3> 75> 125, 
168, 219 

La Sauceda, 184 

Espagne (Paris, 1855), 203 

Latifundia> 39 

Latifundismo, 181 


sulmane au Xbne Sikle (Paris, 

1932), 39 
Ley de Fugas, 131 
Liberals, 36, 218-19. 
Logrono, 11 
Lope de Vega, 19 
Lopez, Curro, 141 

Ice-pits, 56, 171, 217 

Igualeja, 182, 184 

Inheritance, 46, 79, 98-9, 102-4, 

Inspector, 6, 20-1, 23, 33, 50, 

128, 138, 142, 148, 155, 178, 

Irrigation, 2-4, 21, 35, 40-1, 50, 


Jacinas, 3-4, 9, n-12, 17, 195 

2i-4> 29, 33, 5i* 55> 59> IO 5> 

131, 170, 216 
Jerez, i, 3, 10-11, 16, 19, 22, 26, 

55-6> I0 9> r 20, 181, 203 
Jesuits, expulsion of, 215 
Jimena, 10, n 


El Folklore Andduz> 12 

MACIVER, R. M., The Web of Govern 
ment (1947), 67 

and PAGE, Society (London, 


MADOZ, PASCUAL, Diccwnano Geo- 
grqfico-Estadistico-Historico de Es- 
pana (Madrid, 1846), 54 

Madrid, 14, 217, 220, 223 

Mairena, 11 

Malaga, 16, 18, 36, 57, 120, 139, 

154.157,217 . . 

MARETT, R. R., The Beginnings 
of Morals and Culture,** in An 
Outline of Modern Knowledge 
(London, 1931), 113 



et Regis Institutione (Spanish trans 
lation, Madrid, 1864), 158 

Marriage (see courting), 16, 24, 26, 
79,82,84,91-6,98^^,, 175, 

MARSHALL, T. H., Citizenship and 
Social Class (Cambridge, 1950), 

Aiatanza, 85 

Maton, 141 

Mayor, 15-16, 41, 52, 55, 66, 73, 
77,122^^,141,147, 154, 156 

Mayorazgo, 102 

Menstrual magic, 195, 197 et seq* 

MERIMEE, PROSPER, Voyage en Es- 
pagne 9 180 

Mesta, 217 

Mills, miller, 4, 6, 20-1, 23, 25, 33, 
40> 48-53 3 58, 13 !> Hi et se ^ 

162, 192, 200, 206 

Montejaque, 9, 11, 12, 24 
Moors, i, 13, 31, 196, 205-6, 216 
Murcia, 14 

Naturaleza (place of birth), 8, 30, 

III, 120 

Neighbour (vecino), 7-8, 28, 108, 
122, 137, et seq., 146, 156, 158, 
168-9, 171, 173, 182, 185, 193, 

Nicknames, 7, 8, 31, 126, 160 et 
seq., 201 

jVbr/io, novia, 6, 88, 93-8, 109-11, 
117, 119, 176-7, 191, 196 

Olvera, i 
Orgullo, 91 

Outsider (forastero), 9, n, 25-6, 
28-9,66, 123, 140, 159, 161, 164, 

Owner-farmer, 25-6, 36, 40, 44- 

45> 105 

Padrino, 107-10, 140-1, 155 
Parauta, 182, 184 
Pareela, 39-40 


Partido, 15, 23-4, 33, 123-5, 129, 

152, 157, 217 
Pasos Largos, 183 
Patria chica, 30 
Patronage, 63, 140-1, 154-5, 204, 

207, 209, 213, 219, 221 
Patron Saint, 8, 11, 13, 30, 133, 


Penaloja, 6-8, 15, 21, 24, 54-5, 123 

de Ronda en la Literatura (Cddiz), 


Perez de Alamo, 220 
Philip II, 214 
Phylloxera, 4 
Piropo, 92 
Plebs, 1 8, 73, 76-7, 80, 118, 133, 

141, 152, 161, 167, 179 
Polis, 30 
Poltergeist, 195 
PONZ, ANTONIO, Vioje de Espana 

(Madrid, 1787), 4, 53 
Power, definition of, 67 
Priest, 16, 51, 67, 72, 77, 130, 

132-4, 201, 205, 215 
Primitive societies, 31, 160 
Primo de Rivera, General, 56, 131, 


Prostitute, 27, 33 
Puerto Santa Maria, 8 

REDFIELD, ROBERT, The Folk Culture 
of Yucatan (Chicago, 1941), 198 

Rio Genal, 9, 181, 184 

RIVAS, DUQUE DE, "El Ventero", 
published in Los Espanoles Pin 
tados por si mismos (Madrid, 
1843), 207 

ROJAS, FERNANDO DE, La Celestina, 


Ronda, i, 13, 17, 19, 22-4, 36, 
54-7, 68, 125, 148, 181-3, 193, 

217, 220 

ROWSE, A, L., A Cornish Childhood, 

Ruling Group, 16, 32-3, 66-9, 77, 

I34-5* 152, J55> *79> 200-1, 209 


Sabia, 96-7, 179, 189 et^seq., 199- 

201, 221-2 

Sacamantecas, 204 

Sanctions, 67-8, 92, 965 121, 184, 

206, 208-10 
,jural, 173 
, legal, of organised force, 160-1, 

178, 200-1, 213 
, moral, of public opinion, 27, 

31, 109, 113, 118-19, 158, 161, 

168-9, i75-7> i?9> 185, 188, 

200, 202, 213 

, systems of, 156, 206 

San Jos6 del Valle, 221 

San Martin, 3, 8, n, 216 

San Pedro de Alcantara, 8 

Santiago de Galicia, 217 

Secrecy, 206-7, 213 

Senor, 74, 81-3 

Sefiorito, 61, 74-83, 87, 98, 108, 

118-20, 133, 135, 167-8, 204 
Shame (Verguenza), 60, 70, 109, 

uzetseq., 139, 154, 157-9, 184- 

185, 198-9, 202 
Shameless behaviour, 12, 27, 60-1, 

102, 144, 147, 153, 171, 176-7* 

Shepherds, herdsmen (ganaderos), 

9, 33> 37-8, 48, 6 9~7> i *6, J 24~ 


Shilluk Kings, 12 
Smugglers, i, 183-4, 200, 207, 220 
Soberbia, 91, 157 
Solidarity, 16, 24, 30, 32-3, 88, 

204, 206, 213 
Sophocles, 31 
Sorcery, 195-8, 206 
Status, xiv, 26, 29, 32, 65-83, 92, 

120, 125, 137, 1 60, 182, 209, 

Structure, x, xiii, xiv, 13, 29-30, 

34> 49* 56, 59> 66, 81, 98, 103, 

106, 115, 120, 122, 132-4, 160- 

161, 179, 184, 188, 194, 207, 

213, 215, 221, 223 
Supernatural, xiv, 96-7, 189, et 

Syndical regulations, 42 


Syndicates, 15, 52, 67, 122, 127-8, 

i34 ? 223 

System (see sanctions, values), x, 
xiii-xv, 58, 63, 81, 83, 91, 98, 
109, 145, 153-5, r 6o, 162, 182, 
201, 204, 211-13, 217, 224 

Tangier, 192 

Taxation, 22, 44, 123, 126, 210, 

214, 216 

Tax-collector, 16, 209 
Tempranillo, Jose-Maria el, 180 
Tenant-farmers, 25-6, 40, 44-5, 

51, 75, 83, 104-5, I34 3 l6 5> 180 
Timing 6, 9, 15-16, 27-8, 32, 

35-6, 40, 55 

Ttrminos municipales, ley de los, 23 
Town Hall, 5, 15-16, 22, 31, 36-7, 

44> 5 6 > 59> IIO > J 2i ttseq.t 146, 

162, 213, 217-18 
Trade, 19-22, 25, 33, 48 etseq., 57 

et seq, 
Transhumance, 23 

Ubrique, n, 216 

VALERA, JUAN, Pepita Jimenez, 141 
, , La Leyenda Negra> 202 
Values, xiv, xv, 12, 46, 59-60, 

84-5^89,9^106, 112, 114, 118, 

141, 158, 160, 176, 178, 200-4, 

206, 209, 213, 223 
, economic, 62-3, 65 
, egalitarian, 61, 71, 137, 156, 

209, 213 

-, moral, 113, 115, 145, 158, 202 
of the pueblo, 31, 49, 62, 118- 

120, 137, 166, 175, 203, 221 
, system, 46, 62, 66, 1 18-19, X 44> 

158, 179. 208 
VEBLEN, T., The Theory of the Leisure 

Class (New York, 1922), 70 


Colectivos", in the Boletin de la 
Real Sodedad Geografica (Vol. XV, 
1918), 8 


Villa Faderique, 11-12, 28 
Villaluenga del Rosario, 8, 13 
Vito, 169-75, 201 

Wages, 4, 22-3, 25, 37, 43-5, 59, 
75> OO-^oo, 123, 127, 214 

(London, 1832), 60 

WEBER, MAX, The Protestant Ethic 
and the Spirit of Capitalism (Lon 
don, 1930), 62 

WEULERSSE, J., Pqysans de Syrie et 
du Proche-Orient (Paris, 1946), 47 


Widows, 58, 89, 103, 130, 170-1, 

i?3> 175 

Wme, 9, 12, 23, 35, 57 
Witchcraft, 192 et seq. t 221 
WOOLSEY, GAMEL, Death's Other 

Kingdom (London, 1939), 18 

Zahara, 10, 12 

ZOILO ESPEJO, Costumbres de Derecho 
yEconomia Rural (Madrid 1900), 

ZUGASTI, JULIAN, El Bandolerismo 

(Madrid, 1876), 141, 157