the lost tribes & andalusia roots

most rh- bloodline stems from arabic roots.  so i can assume that my most recent ancient roots of my bloodline come from the druid-gaelic, arab ,uralic  add mixture.

Select source:

Encyclopedia of World Cultures
Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cultures
The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
World Encyclopedia
The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music
Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes



ETHNONYM: Andalucians


Identification. Andalusians are the people of the eight southernmost provinces of Spain: Huelva, Seville, Cadiz, Cordoba, Malaga, Jaen, Granada, and Almería.

Location. Andalusia borders the Portuguese Algarve on the west; the Spanish provinces of the Estremadura, Castile-La-Mancha, and Murcia on the northwest, north, and northeast; the Gulf of Cadiz to the southwest; and the Mediterranean on the southeast. Most of the region (Huelva, Cadiz, Seville, Cordoba, and Jaen) lies on the flat tablelands of the meseta and consists of rolling expanses of fields largely given over to cereal crops and olive groves. Malaga and Granada are hilly, even mountainous in places, and Almería, at the southeastern extremity of the region, is arid and largely barren. The climate on the meseta is one of extended hot, dry summers and rains, heavy at rimes, in autumn and early winter.

Linguistic Affiliation. Andalusian is a Spanish dialect, strongly flavored with Arabic-derived words, reflecting the long Moorish occupation of the region.

History and Cultural Relations

There is evidence that as long ago as 1000 b.c. there were thriving trade relations between the peoples of this region and Phoenicia. This early civilization is the “Tarshish” of the Old Testament (called Tartessos by the Greeks), and it may well date back to the time of the Minoans, or even earlier. Its earliest peoples were of Celtiberian stock and may have come from the east. As long ago as the fourth or fifth millennium, Aegean ships began to arrive at Almería, seeking to trade for Andalusia’s rich copper resources. While it is unclear whether the trade in copper and other Andalusian minerals stimulated the development of Tartessan civilization or whether Sociopolitical organization predated the trade, by the middle of the third millennium or the start of the second, a loose confederation of tribes existed. After the Aegeans came the Phoenicians, who established a trading post at what is now Cadiz by 1100 b.c. The Phoenicians and their colonists (especially the Carthaginians) held sway in the region until the coming of the Romans in 206 b.c. Along with their trade and language, they brought many other eastern Mediterranean peoples to the region. Of singular importance to the region’s developing economy and culture were the Jewish wine and olive growers and traders who established colonies of their own. These Sephardic Jews flourished in Andalusia throughout the times of Phoenician, Roman, and Muslim rule.

By the time of the Roman conquest, Andalusia was the home of great ethnic diversity, being comprised of Africans, Jews, Phoenicians, and Greeks, as well as descendants of the indigenous Celtiberian peoples. Roman rule did not diminish this diversity but simply provided an integrative political and economic framework within which it could function. The Muslims conquered these Roman territories of southern Spain in the early eighth century a.d. Much of the population converted to Islam under the Moors, but there was tolerance on the part of the new rulers, so conversion was not forced. Thus the Sephardic enclaves remained vital participants in the region’s economy and formed the essential core of its trade, crafts, and merchant classes. Moorish occupation in Andalusia, which lasted until nearly the end of the fifteenth century, had the positive effect of sparing Andalusia from the “Dark Ages” of the rest of Europe, for Andalusia participated in the Islamic high culture of the time and became a center for advances in philosophy, theology, the sciences, medicine, and the arts. It was not until the expansion of Castilian-based Christianity into the region, which began in the 1100s but was not fully successful until the late 1500s, that the rich and vibrant culture of Andalusia was cut off from its eastern sources. The persecutions, forced conversions, and suppression of all things Moorish that ensued in the course of this Castilian-based crusade resulted in the destruction of much of this culture. In addition, with the expulsion of the Jews, Moors, and moriscos (Jewish converts to Islam) and the confiscation of much of their property and wealth, an economic decline of the region began that has persisted to this day. At some time in the late 1400s, Gypsies arrived in the region. Although found throughout Europe, the Gypsies became more settled and assimilated in Andalusia than they did elsewhere in the world, a fact that enabled them to influence the Development of Andalusian cultural forms, particularly music.

Whereas northern Spain looked to Europe for its cultural influences, Andalusia retained its strongly Mediterranean flavor. This development was perhaps partly the result of the concentration of the new Spanish nobility in Castile and their general unwillingness to settle in a region like Andalusia, so far from the attractions of the royal court. Andalusia itself was thus left free to develop its own cultural style, elaborating upon the diverse traditions of its long history and preserving, with modifications, elements of all of them. The fact that Spain as a whole remained outside the early industrialization and drive toward “progress” that gripped Europe during the Industrial Revolution, using the wealth it derived from its overseas colonies for consumption rather than for investment and modernization, has been cited as the cause of the nation’s “stagnation.” Indeed, Andalusia has become impoverished because of its reliance until well into the twentieth century upon ancient agricultural techniques and a weak industrial base. Yet this “stagnation” also provided an environment in which Andalusian culture was able to elaborate upon its unique cultural traditions, so that today it retains a distinctive flavor. The region’s “backwardness” was encouraged, even enforced, by the Franco regime—as well as by the entire country’s isolation from the United States and the rest of Western Europe during the postwar years, owing to the Allies’ disdain for Franco’s fascism. With Franco’s death and the end of the fascist regime in the 1970s, and especially with Spain’s entry into the European Economic Community, Economic development has begun to make inroads in the region with the introduction of modern agricultural technology and a move—however halting and small-scale—to establish industry in the region. The 1980s brought to all of Spain a new constitution, which, among other things, sought to accomplish the decentralization of power from Castile to a series of autonomous communities. Andalusia achieved autonomous status by the middle of the decade. Retaining ties to the larger

Spanish polity, Andalusia is now able to make social and Economic development decisions for itself.


The principal settlement form in Andalusia is the pueblo, a relatively small municipal and residential center with a strongly agrarian economic focus. In most of Andalusia these population centers are geographically isolated from each other, being situated in the approximate center of the extensive lands associated with latifundia (large estate farms). What one finds is a central municipality harboring the local church, administrative buildings, shops and taverns, and dwellings, but little or no industrial focus. The majority of the residents in these population centers consists of landless agricultural laborers and their families. Scattered in the surrounding countryside are the large estate farms with their extensive fields of cereal crops or corn. Associated with each estate, usually built on an elevated site at the approximate center of the property, are the farm buildings: the owner’s manor (generally occupied by a manager, for absentee landlordism has long been the rule in the region) ; outbuildings for crop storage and livestock; olive and/or grape arbors; and buildings for the processing of agricultural and animal Products. In addition, one or more small clusters of dwellings may be found on the property, owned by the landlord but housing permanent staff or long-term contract employees and their families, as well as one or more market gardens, watered by wells.


Subsistence and Commercial Activities. Most of Andalusia traditionally has been devoted to estate-based, extensive cultivation of cereals, with olives and sunflowers constituting additional important crops. Cereal cropping is carried out in conjunction with sheepherding, although the flocks have declined dramatically over the last several decades and are now found only on the largest of the region’s estates. Chickens and pigs are raised on a small scale. The vast majority of economic activity in Andalusia is agriculturally related, and this situation has become more and more exacerbated in recent years as local artisans faced competition from goods brought in from beyond the local community. On the great farms, most of the agricultural produce is destined for market, and the available work consists largely of unskilled, repetitive tasks such as sowing and harvesting. Local economies never have been capable of providing full employment, and many young men (fewer women) leave to seek work in the cities or elsewhere.

Industrial Arts. Large-scale industry is uncommon in the region, but local milling and processing of olive oil, wine making, and other such enterprises are still common. Buildings are, for the most part, constructed of local materials—including wood-frame and, more commonly, mud-walled (stucco) structures—although the older estates are often made of stone.

Trade. Nearly all of Andalusia’s agricultural product is destined for market, either sold directly to processors in raw state or processed locally and sold to urban markets in final form (e.g., olive oil and wine). Little is left of the great mineral trade upon which the earliest economy of the region was based. Locally there are still weekly markets for agricultural produce and livestock, as well as for some locally produced crafts.

Division of Labor. The casa, or coresident kinship group, is the basic economic production unit, and each member is expected to contribute labor toward securing the livelihood of the whole. There is a strong sexual division of labor organizing the economic roles of household members, but the nature of such gender-specific roles varies according to the class to which a household belongs. Among landed families, where the combination of current income and inherited wealth reduces the need for supplemental income, management of the household economy falls entirely to the male head of Household, while his wife concerns herself with the administration of the household and does not usually work outside of the home. In the households of agricultural laborers, the administration of the family budget falls to the wife, who may also work in the fields alongside her sons and husband. Still, regardless of the economic class to which the family belongs, there is a strong sense that home-management tasks (housekeeping, child rearing, and the like) are the exclusive Province of women, an assumption that it is best for women to remain, as far as possible, in the domestic sphere, and a strong cultural proscription for men to participate in any Domestic tasks whatsoever.

Land Tenure. Land tenure takes one of three forms. Direct ownership is the preferred and the most common form. Leaseholds, traditionally for six years although variations in terms of the lease are not infrequent, are secured for payments in cash or kind (although today it is rare for agreements to be based upon the latter). Rents have soared in recent decades, and the lessor must often pay a substantial annual rent without certainty of the future profits at the harvest. Together, these factors have contributed to the decline in popularity of this form of land tenure. Sharecropping—in which an individual shares in the profits of the farm in return for the contribution of his labor in producing the crop—was once far more common than it is today, partly because of the mechanization of many farming tasks, which has reduced the need for outside labor. When sharecropping does occur, the proceeds of the sale of farm products are generally split, 50-50, between the landowner and the sharecropper.


Kin Groups and Descent. Kinship is reckoned bilaterally and extends across five generations—an individual reckons as part of his/her kindred all lineal consanguines in the categories of grandchildren, children, siblings and some collaterals, parents and parents’ siblings and collaterals, and grandparents. Collateral kin relations are not counted as particularly significant beyond first cousins.

Kinship Terminology. There is no distinction made Between maternal and paternal kin, referentially, but the difference between first cousins (part of the kindred) and second cousins (recognized as relatives but not considered to be particularly close) is marked terminologically: first cousins are called primos hermanos (brother cousins) while all cousins further removed are collectively referred to merely as primos (cousins). People recognized as members of one’s kindred are referred to as parientes, alternatively as familiares. Spiritual kinship is important in Andalusia. For instance, godparents are chosen at two stages of an individual’s life: as sponsors for baptism, and as sponsors at marriage. However, in Andalusia these individuals are usually also the grandparents of the sponsored person, so that godparenthood does not usually draw into the kinship network anyone not already a part of it.

Marriage and Family

Marriage. The decision to marry is made by the potential spouses, but not without the active involvement of the Parents of both in the selection process. Courtship is carried out by the men, but it is held that the woman usually initiates it by expressing her interest in a potential suitor through discreet flirting. Although traditional laws stipulating that only church weddings were legitimate have been changed to recognize civil unions, the church wedding is still the rule. Despite the fact that informal liaisons are not officially or religiously recognized, common-law marriage among landless laborers is not unusual, and couples living together in this fashion are often tacitly accepted without serious damage to their reputations as long as they comport themselves as a properly married pair (i.e., maintain a monogamous union). They are expected to make every effort to regularize such a union when a child is imminent. Because of the strong social pressures to conform to the twin precepts of honore and verguenza (honor and shame), adultery and/or premarital sex are traditionally negatively sanctioned—a situation that both church and state have long reinforced. Divorce was legally prohibited until very recently and remains repugnant to the church, but it does happen on occasion. It is much less likely for a wife to try to divorce her husband than for the reverse to occur. Postmarital residence is neolocal but tends to be in the same Community—quite frequently the same neighborhood—as that of the wife’s family.

Domestic Unit. The domestic unit is, minimally, the Nuclear family—a man, his wife, their children. Although this form of household is the most common, extended families do occur and usually consist of a nuclear family and a member or members of the grandparental generation. Even when not coresident, the households of a woman and her married daughter tend to maintain strong ties, based on their close emotional relationship and proximity, which lead to the cooperation of the two in their day-to-day work and personal lives.

Inheritance. In Andalusia, heritable property is divided equally among all heirs, with no distinction made on the basis of order of birth or gender.

Socialization. Child rearing is the responsibility of the mother because the cultural proscription against male participation in the domestic sphere is strong. A father’s relationship with his children is generally remote, to the point of formality. This distant relationship remains in place even after a son achieves maturity. In early childhood, the motherchild tie is very strong, but it gradually weakens between mother and son as the boy approaches his teenage years. At this time, young men are expected to begin to establish an increasingly “public” identity, spending greater and greater amounts of time away from the house in the company of their male contemporaries. Still, however much independence a young man achieves, as a “good son” he is expected to revere his mother throughout his life. A daughter rarely undergoes such a separation from her mother. Rather, upon reaching puberty a daughter is expected to retire further and further into the life of the casa, lest she risk incurring gossip. Thus, the mother-daughter bond is strengthened, rather than weakened, as the daughter achieves adulthood.

Sociopolitical Organization

Social Organization. Traditional Andalusian society has been said to operate primarily according to principles of patron-clientage, according to which those with greater access to wealth, power, or other resources are recruited by those with lesser access, to provide assistance. The terms used to justify such relationships may be fictive kin (by making the patron godparent to one’s child) or loyalty and friendship (as between employer/employee). In modern Andalusia, more explicitly class-based factors appear to comprise the primary organizing principle. The institution of the cofradia (Brotherhood, fraternal order) has importance in organizing Cooperative efforts in preparing for ritual occasions and as a kind of mutual-aid society for its members; it is a village-based Organization of men, united for specific purposes or tasks. Each man is born into the cofradia of his father.

Political Organization. Andalusia today, as an autonomous community within the larger national polity, has its own representative who brings to the attention of the state the interests of the region and who heads a regional board that makes decisions regarding Andalusian social and Economic issues. Local communities are under the jurisdicrion of the municipality or township, the minimal administrative level. The municipal-level political organization centers on the town hall, and the leading official is the mayor.

Social Control and Conflict. As is true for many rural, face-to-face communities, one of the strongest mechanisms for social control is local gossip and other informal expressions of public censure. There is also recourse to municipal authorities.

Religion and Expressive Culture

Religious Beliefs. In Spain as a whole, the Catholic church was long the only religion; freedom of worship became permissible by law only in recent decades. Andalusia is known for having its own emotionally charged and personalized brand of Catholicism, best exemplified in the extravagant Holy Week (Santa Semana) celebrations. There is a strong Madonna focus organizing Andalusian religious beliefs, and some scholars of the region trace the preeminence of the Virgin Mary to pre-Christian religious beliefs and practices in which a nurturant mother-goddess (variously personified as Aphrodite [Greek], Astarte [Phoenician], and Tanit [Carthaginian]) is paired with a son/father/consort figure (Apollo, Melkart, Hercules), citing these pairs as prefiguring the later emphasis upon Madonna and Christ figures. Traditional Holy Week saetas (lyric verses with a religious theme) make strong use of invocations of the Madonna’s powers to intervene and protect the people, as well as commemorating her status as the grieving mother of the crucified Christ. The belief that saintly figures, and particularly the Madonna, are capable of being recruited to assist the faithful in daily life is strong throughout the Iberian peninsula, but it finds its most extreme expression in Andalusian religious practice. There are strong undercurrents of acceptance of the miraculous and belief in the power of penitence, which together form an essential element of Andalusian religion.

Religious Practitioners. Religious practitioners are the duly ordained priests of the Catholic church, but they are assisted by members of lay brotherhoods and sisterhoods.

Ceremonies. Life-cycle events such as baptism, marriage, and death are attended by church ritual. In the past, such ceremonies might have involved the entire village population, although today baptisms and marriages tend to be much more a family affair. Although church attendance is not strictly observed on a day-to-day basis, particularly among men, the High Holy Days of the Catholic liturgical calendar still tend to bring out the majority of parishioners, and the Lenten period is in practice the single most important ceremonial occasion. The Santa Semana masses are attended by nearly everyone, but the more secular processions and fiestas held during that week evoke the greatest degree of enthusiasm and participation among the people. Massive floats bearing the likenesses of the Madonna and the Christ figure are borne along the streets, each sponsored, prepared, and carried by a particular cofradia, and there is a strong competitive flavor to the comparisons (often couched in the verses of saetas) among the Madonnas of the different cofradías.

Arts. The “quintessentially Spanish” art forms of bull-fighting and, especially, flamenco are in fact “quintessentially Andalusian” in origin. It is in Andalusia that the fighting black bulls were first bred, and long before the development of bullfighting as we currently know it, bull rituals and bull cults were established in the region—predating the Mithraic cult of the Roman empire and perhaps deriving from prehistoric practices. At least, there are prehistoric Andalusian cave paintings and stone carvings of bulls that have an extremely early provenance. Flamenco, too, has an ancient tradition. “The dancers of Gades [Cadiz]” were known as far back as the second century b.c., and the “puellae Gaditanae” (“girls of Cadiz”) are referred to by Strabo, Martial, and Juvenal. This Andalusian tradition of the dance formed the basis upon which the Gypsies, who arrived in the region in the 1400s, elaborated and stylized to yield the form we know today as flamenco. But the region’s artistic production is not limited to modern variations on ancient artistic practice. Andalusia was, after all, the birthplace of Picasso, and it has been claimed that the region provided the greatest inspiration for the development of his art. Outside of the sphere of formal performance, Andalusia also has a long tradition of folk composition, particularly represented in lyric verse (secular coplas and the more religiously oriented saetas), both of which are strongly emotional in content.

Death and Afterlife. Andalusian attitudes toward death are strongly colored by Catholic beliefs, and funerary ritual is oriented around the Catholic sacraments of confession and extreme unction. Masses must be said for the deceased, and there has long been a tradition of charitable donations as commemoration for the dead. The expenses for both of these practices are borne by the cofradia to which the deceased belonged during his or her lifetime.


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