the lost tribes & andalusian roots

rh -0 bloodline stems from arabic roots.  so i can assume that my most recent ancient roots of my bloodline come from the druid-gaelic- moorish , uralic, arabic  add mixture.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Andalucía (in Spanish)
Autonomous community
Flag of Andalucía
Coat-of-arms of Andalucía
Coat of arms
Motto(s): Andalucía por sí, para España y la humanidad[1]
(“Andalusia by itself, for Spain and humanity”)
Anthem: La bandera blanca y verde
Map of Andalusia
Location of Andalusia within Spain.
Coordinates: 37°23′N 5°59′WCoordinates37°23′N 5°59′W
Country Spain
Capital Seville
 • Body Council of Andalusia
 • President Susana Díaz (PSOE)
Area (17.2% of Spain)
 • Total 87,268 km2(33,694 sq mi)
Area rank 2nd
Population (2016)
 • Total 8,388,107
 • Rank 1st
 • Density 96/km2 (250/sq mi)
 • Percent 17.84% of Spain
Demonym(s) Andalusian
ISO 3166-2 AN
Official languages Spanish
Statute of Autonomy 30 December 1981
first revision 2002
second revision 2007[3]
Legislature Parliament
– Congress 62 Deputies of 350
– Senate 40 Senators of 264

Andalusia (/ˌændəˈlsiə, –ziə, –ʒə/SpanishAndalucía [andaluˈθi.a, -si.a]PortugueseAndaluzia) is an autonomous community in southern Spain. It is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities in the country. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a “historical nationality”.[4] The territory is divided into eight provincesAlmeríaCádizCórdobaGranadaHuelvaJaénMálaga and Seville. Its capital is the city of Seville (Spanish: Sevilla).

Andalusia is in the south of the Iberian peninsula, in south-western Europe, immediately south of the autonomous communities of Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha; west of the autonomous community of Murcia and the Mediterranean Sea; east of Portugaland the Atlantic Ocean; and north of the Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar. Andalusia is the only European region with both Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines. The small British overseas territory of Gibraltar shares a three-quarter-mile land border with the Andalusian province of Cádiz at the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar.

The main mountain ranges of Andalusia are the Sierra Morena and the Baetic System, consisting of the Subbaetic and PenibaeticMountains, separated by the Intrabaetic Basin. In the north, the Sierra Morena separates Andalusia from the plains of Extremadura and Castile–La Mancha on Spain’s Meseta Central. To the south the geographic subregion of Upper Andalusia lies mostly within the Baetic System, while Lower Andalusia is in the Baetic Depression of the valley of the Guadalquivir.[5]

The name “Andalusia” is derived from the Arabic word Al-Andalus (الأندلس).[6] The toponym al-Andalus is first attested by inscriptions on coins minted in 716 by the new Muslim government of Iberia. These coins, called dinars, were inscribed in both Latin and Arabic.[7][8] The etymology of the name “al-Andalus” has traditionally been derived from the name of the Vandals; however, a number of proposals since the 1980s have challenged this contention. Halm in 1989 derived the name from a Gothic term, *landahlauts,[9] and in 2002, Bossong suggested its derivation from a pre-Roman substrate.[10] The region’s history and culture have been influenced by the native IberiansPhoeniciansCarthaginiansGreeksRomansVandalsVisigothsByzantinesJewsRomaniMuslim Moors and the Castilian and other Christian North Iberian nationalities who reconquered and settled the area in the latter phases of the Reconquista.

Andalusia has been a traditionally agricultural region, compared to the rest of Spain and the rest of Europe. However, the growth of the community especially in the sectors of industry and services was above average in Spain and higher than many communities in the Eurozone. The region has a rich culture and a strong identity. Many cultural phenomena that are seen internationally as distinctively Spanish are largely or entirely Andalusian in origin. These include flamenco and, to a lesser extent, bullfighting and Hispano-Moorish architectural styles both of which are also prevalent in other regions of Spain.

Andalusia’s hinterland is the hottest area of Europe, with cities like Córdoba and Seville averaging above 36 °C (97 °F) in summer high temperatures. Late evening temperatures can sometimes stay around 35 °C (95 °F) until close to midnight, with daytime highs of over 40 °C (104 °F) common. Seville also has the highest average annual temperature in mainland Spain and mainland Europe (19.2 °C), closely followed by Almería (19.1 °C).[11]

Map of the Iberian peninsula dated 1770. The Kingdoms of JaénCórdobaand Seville are collectively referred to under the name Andalucía, while the Kingdom of Granada appears under its individual name.

Its present form is derived the Arabic name for Muslim Iberia, “Al-Andalus”.[12][13][14] However, the etymology of the name “Al-Andalus” is disputed,[10] and the extent of Iberian territory encompassed by the name has changed over the centuries.[15]

The Spanish place name Andalucía (immediate source of the English Andalusia) was introduced into the Spanish languages in the 13th century under the form el Andalucía.[16] The name was adopted to refer to those territories still under Moorish rule, and generally south of Castilla Nueva and Valencia, and corresponding with the former Roman province hitherto called Baetica in Latin sources. This was a Castilianization of Al-Andalusiya, the adjectival form of the Arabic language al-Andalus, the name given by the Arabs to all of the Iberian territories under Muslim rule from 711 to 1492. The etymology of al-Andalus is itself somewhat debated (see al-Andalus), but in fact it entered the Arabic language before this area came under Muslim rule.

Like the Arabic term al-Andalus, in historical contexts the Spanish term Andalucía or the English term Andalusia do not necessarily refer to the exact territory designated by these terms today. Initially, the term referred exclusively to territories under Muslim control; later, it was applied to some of the last Iberian territories to be regained from the Muslims, though not always to exactly the same ones.[17] In the Estoria de España (also known as the Primera Crónica General) of Alfonso X of Castile, written in the second half of the 13th century, the term Andalucía is used with three different meanings:

  1. As a literal translation of the Arabic al-Ándalus when Arabic texts are quoted.
  2. To designate the territories the Christians had regained by that time in the Guadalquivir valley and in the Kingdoms of Granada and Murcia. In a document from 1253, Alfonso X styled himself Rey de Castilla, León y de toda Andalucía (“King of Castile, León and all of Andalusia”).
  3. To designate the territories the Christians had regained by that time in the Guadalquivir valley (the Kingdoms of JaénCórdoba and Seville) but not the Kingdom of Granada. This was the most common significance in the Late Middle Ages and Early modern period.[18]

From an administrative point of view, Granada remained separate for many years even after the completion of the Reconquista[18] due, above all, to its emblematic character as the last territory regained, and as the seat of the important Real Chancillería de Granada, a court of last resort. Still, the reconquest and repopulation of Granada was accomplished largely by people from the three preexisting Christian kingdoms of Andalusia, and Granada came to be considered a fourth kingdom of Andalusia.[19] The often-used expression “Four Kingdoms of Andalusia” dates back in Spanish at least to the mid-18th century.[20][21]


Portrait of Blas Infante, executed in azulejos, located on the avenue in Jerez de la Frontera named in his honor.

The Andalusian coat of arms shows the figure of Hercules and two lions between the two pillars of Hercules that tradition situates on either side of the Strait of Gibraltar. An inscription below, superimposed on an image of the flag of Andalusia reads Andalucía por sí, para España y la Humanidad(“Andalusia for herself, Spain and Humanity”). Over the two columns is a semicircular arch in the colors of the flag of Andalusia, with the Latin words Dominator Hercules Fundator (Lord Hercules is the Founder) superimposed.[1]

The official flag of Andalusia consists of three equal horizontal stripes, colored green, white, and green respectively;[22] the Andalusian coat of arms is superimposed on the central stripe. Its design was overseen by Blas Infante[23] and approved in the Assembly of Ronda (a 1918 gathering of Andalusian nationalists at Ronda). The green symbolizes hope and union, and the white symbolizes peace and dialogue. Blas Infante considered these to have been the colors most used in regional symbols throughout the region’s history. According to him, the green came in particular from the standard of the Umayyad Caliphate and represented the call for a gathering of the populace. The white symbolized pardon in the Almohad dynasty, interpreted in European heraldry as parliament or peace. Other writers have justified the colors differently, with some Andalusian nationalists referring to them as the Arbonaida, meaning white-and-green in Mozarabic, a Romance language that was spoken in the region in Muslim times.


An instrumental version of the Andalusian anthem.

The anthem of Andalusia was composed by José del Castillo Díaz (director of the Municipal Band of Seville, commonly known as Maestro Castillo) with lyrics by Blas Infante.[23] The music was inspired by Santo Dios, a popular religious song sung at harvest time by peasants and day laborers in the provinces of Málaga, Seville, and Huelva. Blas Infante brought the song to Maestro Castillo’s attention; Maestro Castillo adapted and harmonized the traditional melody. The lyrics appeal to the Andalusians to mobilize and demand tierra y libertad (“land and liberty”) by way of agrarian reform and a statute of autonomy within Spain.

The Parliament of Andalusia voted unanimously in 1983 that the preamble to the Statute of Autonomy recognize Blas Infante as the Father of the Andalusian Nation (Padre de la Patria Andaluza),[24] which was reaffirmed in the reformed Statute of Autonomy submitted to popular referendum 18 February 2007. The preamble of the present 2007 Statute of Autonomy says that Article 2 of the present Spanish Constitution of 1978 recognizes Andalusia as a nationality. Later, in its articulation, it speaks of Andalusia as a “historic nationality” (Spanish: nacionalidad histórica). It also cites the 1919 Andalusianist Manifesto of Córdoba describing Andalusia as a “national reality” (realidad nacional), but does not endorse that formulation. Article 1 of the earlier 1981 Statute of Autonomy defined it simply as a “nationality” (nacionalidad).[25]

The national holiday, the Día de Andalucía, is celebrated on 28 February,[26] commemorating the 1980 autonomy referendum. In spite of this, nationalist groups celebrate the holiday on 4 December, commemorating the 1977 demonstrations to demand autonomy.

The honorific title of Hijo Predilecto de Andalucía (“Favorite Son of Andalucia”) is granted by the Regional Government of Andalusia to those whose exceptional merits benefited Andalusia, for work or achievements in natural, social, or political science. It is the highest distinction given by the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.


The Sevillian historian Antonio Domínguez Ortiz wrote that:

…one must seek the essence of Andalusia in its geographic reality on the one hand, and on the other in the awareness of its inhabitants. From the geographic point of view, the whole of the southern lands is too vast and varied to be embraced as a single unit. In reality there are not two, but three Andalusias: the Sierra Morena, the Valley [of the Guadalquivir] and the [Cordillera] Penibética[27]


Andalusia has a surface area of 87,597 square kilometres (33,821 sq mi), 17.3 percent of the territory of Spain. Andalusia alone is comparable in extent and in the variety of its terrain to any of several of the smaller European countries. To the east is the Mediterranean Sea; to the west the Atlantic Ocean; to the north the Sierra Morena constitutes the border with the Meseta Central; to the south, the self-governing[28] British overseas territory of Gibraltar and the Strait of Gibraltar separate it from Morocco.

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.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Castillian ambassadors attempting to convince Moorish Almohad king Abu Hafs Umar al-Murtada to join their alliance (contemporary depiction from the Cantigas de Santa María)

The term “Moors” refers primarily to the Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian PeninsulaSicily, and Malta during the Middle Ages. The Moors initially were the Berber autochthones of the Maghreb.[1] The name was later also applied to Arabs.[2][3]

Moors are not a distinct or self-defined people,[4] and the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica observed that “The term ‘Moors’ has no real ethnological value.”[5] Medieval and early modern Europeans variously applied the name to Arabs, North African Berbers, and Muslim Europeans.[6]

The term has also been used in Europe in a broader, somewhat derogatory sense to refer to Muslims in general,[7] especially those of Arab or Berber descent, whether living in Spain or North Africa.[8] During the colonial era, the Portuguese introduced the names “Ceylon Moors” and “Indian Moors” in Sri Lanka, and the Bengali Muslims were also called Moors.[9]

In 711, troops mostly formed by Moors from North Africa led the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The Iberian peninsula then came to be known in classical Arabic as Al-Andalus, which at its peak included most of Septimania and modern-day Spain and Portugal.

In 827, the Moors occupied Mazara on Sicily, developing it as a port.[10] They eventually consolidated the rest of the island and some of southern Italy. Differences in religion and culture led to a centuries-long conflict with the Christian kingdoms of Europe, which tried to reclaim control of Muslim areas; this conflict was referred to as the Reconquista. In 1224 the Muslims were expelled from Sicily to the settlement of Lucera, which was destroyed by European Christians in 1300.

The fall of Granada in 1492 marked the end of Muslim rule in Iberia, although a Muslim minority persisted until their expulsion in 1609.[11]



During the classical period, the Romans interacted with, and later conquered, parts of Mauretania, a state that covered modern northern Morocco, western Algeria, and the Spanish cities Ceuta and Melilla.[12] The Berber tribes of the region were noted in Classical literature as Mauri, which was subsequently rendered as “Moors” in English and in related variations in other European languages.[13] Mauri (Μαῦροι) is recorded as the native name by Strabo in the early 1st century. This appellation was also adopted into Latin, whereas the Greek name for the tribe was Maurusii (Μαυρούσιοι).[14] The Moors were also mentioned by Tacitus as having revolted against the Roman Empire in 24 AD.[15]

The 16th century scholar Leo Africanus (c. 1494–1554) identified the Moors (Mauri) as the native Berber inhabitants of the former Roman Africa Province (Roman Africans). He described Moors as one of five main population groups on the continent alongside EgyptiansAbyssinians (Abassins), Arabians and Cafri (Cafates).[1]

Modern meanings[edit]

Moorish man from Western Sahara

In medieval Romance languages, variations of the Latin word for the Moors (for instance, Italian and SpanishmoroFrenchmaurePortuguesemouroRomanianmaur) developed different applications and connotations. The term initially denoted a specific Berber people in western Libya, but the name acquired more general meaning during the medieval period, associated with “Muslim“, similar to associations with “Saracens“. During the context of the Crusades and the Reconquista, the term Moors included the derogatory suggestion of “infidels”.

Apart from these historic associations and context, Moor and Moorish designate a specific ethnic group speaking Hassaniya Arabic. They inhabit Mauritania and parts of AlgeriaWestern SaharaTunisiaMoroccoNiger, and Mali. In Niger and Mali, these peoples are also known as the Azawagh Arabs, after the Azawagh region of the Sahara.[16]

The authoritative dictionary of the Spanish language does not list any derogatory meaning for the word moro, a term generally referring to people of Maghrebian origin in particular or Muslims in general.[17] Some authors have pointed out that in modern colloquial Spanish use of the term moro is derogatory for Moroccans in particular[18][19][20][21][22] and Muslims in general.

In modern, colloquial Portuguese, the term Mouro was primarily used as a designation for North Africans and secondarily as a derogatory and ironic term by northern Portuguese to refer to the inhabitants of the southern parts of the country (LisbonAlentejo, and Algarve). However, this designation has gained more acceptance in the south.

In the Philippines, a former Spanish colony, many modern Filipinos call the large, local Muslim minority concentrated in Mindanao and other southern islands Moros. The word is a catch-all term, as Moro may come from several distinct ethno-linguistic groups such as the Maranao people. The term was introduced by Spanish colonisers, and has since been appropriated by Filipino Muslims as an endonym, with many self-identifying as members of the Bangsamoro “Moro Nation”.

A performance of Moros y cristianos(Moors and Christians) in Mexico

Moreno can mean dark-skinned in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and the Philippines. Also in Spanish, morapio is a humorous name for “wine”, especially that which has not been “baptized” or mixed with water, i.e., pure unadulterated wine. Among Spanish speakers, moro came to have a broader meaning, applied to both Filipino Moros from Mindanao, and the moriscos of GranadaMoro refers to all things dark, as in “Moor”, moreno, etc. It was also used as a nickname; for instance, the Milanese Duke Ludovico Sforza was called Il Moro because of his dark complexion.[23]

In Portugal, mouro (feminine, moura) may refer to supernatural beings known as enchanted moura, where “moor” implies ‘alien’ and ‘non-Christian’. These beings were siren-like fairies with golden or reddish hair and a fair face. They were believed to have magical properties.[24]From this root, the name moor is applied to unbaptized children, meaning not Christian.[25][26] In Basquemairu means moor and also refers to a mythical people.[27]

Within the context of Portuguese colonization, in Sri Lanka (Portuguese Ceylon), Muslims of Arab origin are called Ceylon Moors, not to be confused with “Indian Moors” of Sri Lanka (see Sri Lankan Moors). Sri Lankan Moors (a combination of “Ceylon Moors” and “Indian Moors”) make up 12% of the population. The Ceylon Moors (unlike the Indian Moors) are descendants of Arab traders who settled there in the mid-6th century. When the Portuguese arrived in the early 16th century, they labelled all the Muslims in the island as Moors as they saw some of them resembling the Moors in North Africa. The Sri Lankan government continues to identify the Muslims in Sri Lanka as “Sri Lankan Moors”, sub-categorised into “Ceylon Moors” and “Indian Moors”.[28]

The Goan Muslims — a minority community who follow Islam in the western Indian coastal state of Goa — are commonly referred as Moir (Konkaniमैर) by Goan Catholics and Hindus.[a] Moir is derived from the Portuguese word mouro (Moor).

Moors of the Maghreb[edit]

The Great Mosque of Kairouan was founded by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi in 670 during the Islamic conquest, to provide a place of worship for recently converted or immigrating Muslims.

In the late 7th and early 8th centuries CE, the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate, established after the death of Muhammad, underwent a period of rapid growth. In 647 CE, 40,000 Arabs forced the Byzantine governor of North Africa to submit and pay tribute, but failed to permanently occupy the region.[29] After an interlude, during which the Muslims fought a civil war, the invasions resumed in 665, seizing Byzantine North Africa up to Bugia over the course of a series of campaigns, lasting until 689. A Byzantine counterattack largely expelled the Arabs but left the region vulnerable. Intermittent war over the inland provinces of North Africa continued for the next two decades. Further civil war delayed the continuation of further conquest, but an Arab assault took Carthage and held it against a Byzantine counterattack.

Although a Christian and pagan Berber rebellion pushed out the Arabs temporarily, the Romanized urban population preferred the Arabs to the Berbers and welcomed a renewed and final conquest that left North Africa in Muslim hands by 698. Over the next decades, the Berber and urban populations of North Africa gradually converted to Islam, although for separate reasons.[30] The Arabic language was also adopted. Initially, the Arabs required only vassalage from the local inhabitants rather than assimilation, a process which took a considerable time.[30] The groups that inhabited the Maghreb following this process became known collectively as Moors. Although the Berbers would later expel the Arabs from the Maghreb and form temporarily independent states, that effort failed to dislodge the usage of the collective term.

Moors of Iberia[edit]

Depiction of the Moors in Iberia, from The Cantigas de Santa Maria

In 711 the Islamic Moors of Arab and Berber descent in North Africa crossed the Strait of Gibraltar onto the Iberian Peninsula, and in a series of raids they conquered Visigothic Christian Hispania.[31] Their general, Tariq ibn Ziyad, brought most of Iberia under Islamic rule in an eight-year campaign. They continued northeast across the Pyrenees Mountains but were defeated by the Franks under Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in 732.

The Maghreb fell into a civil war in 739 that lasted until 743 known as the Berber Revolt. The Berbers revolted against the Umayyads, putting an end to Eastern dominion over the Maghreb. Despite racial tensions, Arabs and Berbers intermarried frequently. A few years later, the Eastern branch of the Umayyad dynasty was dethroned by the Abbasids and the Umayyad Caliphate overthrown in the Abbasid revolution (746-750)Abd al-Rahman I, who was of Arab-Berber lineage, managed to evade the Abbasids and flee to the Maghreb and then Iberia, where he founded the Emirate of Córdoba and the Andalusian branch of the Umayyad dynasty. The Moors ruled North Africa and Al-Andalusfor several centuries thereafter.[32] Ibn Hazm, the polymath, mentions that many of the Caliphs in the Umayyad Caliphate and the Caliphate of Córdoba were blond and had light eyes.[33] Ibn Hazm mentions that he preferred blondes, and notes that there was much interest in blondes in al-Andalus amongst the rulers and regular Muslims:

All the Caliphs of the Banu Marwan (God have mercy on their souls!), and especially the sons of al-Nasir, were without variation or exception disposed by nature to prefer blondes. I have myself seen them, and known others who had seen their forebears, from the days of al-Nasir’s reign down to the present day; every one of them has been fair-haired, taking after their mothers, so that this has become a hereditary trait with them; all but Sulaiman al-Zafir (God have mercy on him!), whom I remember to have had black ringlets and a black beard. As for al-Nasir and al-Hakam al-Mustansir (may God be pleased with them!), I have been informed by my late father, the vizier, as well as by others, that both of them were blond and blue-eyed. The same is true of Hisham al-Mu’aiyad, Muhammad al-Mahdi, and `Abd al-Rahman al-Murtada (may God be merciful to them all!); I saw them myself many times, and had the honour of being received by them, and I remarked that they all had fair hair and blue eyes.[34]

Moorish army (right) of Almanzorduring the Reconquista Battle of San Esteban de Gormaz, from Cantigas de Alfonso X el Sabio

The languages spoken in the parts of the Iberian Peninsula under Muslim rule were Andalusian Arabic and Mozarabic; they became extinct after the expulsion of the Moriscos, but Arabic language influence on the Spanish language can still be found today. The Muslims were resisted in parts of the Iberian Peninsula in areas of the northwest (such as Asturias, where they were defeated at the battle of Covadonga) and the largely Basque Country in the Pyrenees. Though the number of Moorish colonists was small, many native Iberian inhabitants converted to Islam. By 1000, according to Ronald Segal, some 5,000,000 of Iberia’s 7,000,000 inhabitants, most of them descended from indigenous Iberian converts, were Muslim. There were also Sub-Saharan Africans who had been absorbed into al-Andalus to be used as soldiers and slaves. The Berber and Sub-Saharan African soldiers were known as “tangerines” because they were imported through Tangier.[35][36]

The Caliphate of Córdoba collapsed in 1031 and the Islamic territory in Iberia fell under the rule of the Almohad Caliphate in 1153. This second stage was guided by a version of Islam that left behind the more tolerant practices of the past.[37] Al-Andalus broke up into a number of taifas (fiefs), which were partly consolidated under the Caliphate of Córdoba.

Mohammed I ibn Nasr, the NasridMoorish ruler of the Emirate of Granadaembracing his Castilian ally, taken from The Cantigas de Santa María

The Kingdom of Asturias, a small northwestern Christian Iberian kingdom, initiated the Reconquista (“Reconquest”) soon after the Islamic conquest in the 8th century. Christian states based in the north and west slowly extended their power over the rest of Iberia. The Kingdom of Navarre, the Kingdom of Galicia, the Kingdom of León, the Kingdom of Portugal, the Kingdom of Aragon, the Marca Hispánica, and the Crown of Castile began a process of expansion and internal consolidation during the next several centuries under the flag of Reconquista. In 1212, a coalition of Christian kings under the leadership of Alfonso VIII of Castile drove the Muslims from Central Iberia. The Portuguese side of the Reconquista ended in 1249 with the conquest of the Algarve (Arabicالغرب‎ – al-Gharb) under Afonso III. He was the first Portuguese monarch to claim the title “King of Portugal and the Algarve“.

The Moorish Kingdom of Granada continued for three more centuries in southern Iberia. On 2 January 1492, the leader of the last Muslim stronghold in Granada surrendered to the armies of a recently united Christian Spain (after the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragón and Isabella I of Castile, the “Catholic Monarchs“). The Moorish inhabitants received no military aid or rescue from other Muslim nations.[38]The remaining Jews were also forced to leave Spain, convert to Roman Catholic Christianity, or be killed for refusing to do so. In 1480, to exert social and religious control, Isabella and Ferdinand agreed to allow the Inquisition in Spain. The Muslim population of Granada rebelled in 1499. The revolt lasted until early 1501, giving the Castilian authorities an excuse to void the terms of the Treaty of Granada(1491). In 1501, Castilian authorities delivered an ultimatum to the Muslims of Granada: they could either convert to Christianity or be expelled.

Court of the lions in the Alhambra, a Moorish palace built in the 14th century in Granada, Spain

The Inquisition was aimed mostly at Jews and Muslims who had overtly converted to Christianity but were thought to be practicing their faiths secretly. They were respectively called marranos and moriscos. However, in 1567 King Philip II directed Moriscos to give up their Arabic names and traditional dress, and prohibited the use of Arabic. In reaction, there was a Morisco uprising in the Alpujarras from 1568 to 1571. In the years from 1609 to 1614, the government expelled Moriscos. The historian Henri Lapeyre estimated that this affected 300,000 out of an estimated total of 8 million inhabitants.[39]

Some Muslims converted to Christianity and remained permanently in Iberia. This is indicated by a “high mean proportion of ancestry from North African (10.6%)” that “attests to a high level of religious conversion (whether voluntary or enforced), driven by historical episodes of social and religious intolerance, that ultimately led to the integration of descendants.”[40][41] According to historian Richard A. Fletcher,[42] “the number of Arabs who settled in Iberia was very small. ‘Moorish’ Iberia does at least have the merit of reminding us that the bulk of the invaders and settlers were Moors, i.e., Berbers from Algeria and Morocco.”

In the meantime, Spanish and Portuguese expeditions westward from the New World spread Christianity to India, the Malay peninsulaIndonesia, and the Philippines. By 1521, the ships of Magellan had reached that island archipelago, which they named Las Islas Filipinas, after Philip II of Spain. In Mindanao, the Spaniards named the kris-bearing people as Moros or ‘Moors’. Today this ethnic group in Mindanao, who are generally Filipino Muslim, are called “Moros”.

Moors of Sicily[edit]

Muslim musicians at the court of the Norman King Roger II of Sicily

The first Muslim conquest of Sicily began in 827, though it was not until 902 that almost the entire island was in the control of the Aghlabids, with the exception of some minor strongholds in the rugged interior. During that period some parts of southern Italy fell under Muslim control, most notably the port city of Bari, which formed the Emirate of Bari from 847-871. In 909 the Aghlabid dynasty was replaced by ShiiteFatimids.[citation needed] Four years later, the Fatimid governor was ousted from Palermo when the island declared its independence under Emir Ahmed ibn-Kohrob. The language spoken in Sicily under Muslim rule was Siculo-Arabic.

In 1038, a Byzantine army under George Maniaces crossed the strait of Messina. This army included a corps of Normans that saved the situation in the first clash against the Muslims from Messina. After another decisive victory in the summer of 1040, Maniaces halted his march to lay siege to Syracuse. Despite his success, Maniaces was removed from his position, and the subsequent Muslim counter-offensive reconquered all the cities captured by the Byzantines.

The Norman Robert Guiscard, son of Tancred, invaded Sicily in 1060. The island was split between three Arab emirs, and the Christian population in many parts of the island rose up against the ruling Muslims. One year later, Messina fell, and in 1072 Palermo was taken by the Normans. The loss of the cities, each with a splendid harbor, dealt a severe blow to Muslim power on the island. Eventually all of Sicily was taken. In 1091, Noto in the southern tip of Sicily and the island of Malta, the last Arab strongholds, fell to the Christians. Islamic authors noted the tolerance of the Norman kings of Sicily. Ibn al-Athir wrote: “They [the Muslims] were treated kindly, and they were protected, even against the Franks. Because of that, they had great love for King Roger.”[43]

The Muslim problem characterized Hohenstaufen rule in Sicily under Holy Roman Emperors Henry VI and his son Frederick II. Many repressive measures were introduced by Frederick II to please the popes, who were intolerant of Islam in the heart of Christendom. This resulted in a rebellion by Sicilian Muslims, which in turn triggered organized resistance and systematic reprisals and marked the final chapter of Islam in Sicily. The complete eviction of Muslims and the annihilation of Islam in Sicily was completed by the late 1240s when the final deportations to Lucera took place.


Interior of the MezquitaCórdoba

Moorish architecture is the articulated Islamic architecture of North Africa and parts of Spain and Portugal, where the Moors were dominant between 711 and 1492. The best surviving examples of this architectural tradition are La Mezquita in Córdoba and the Alhambra palace in Granada (mainly 1338–1390),[44] as well as the Giralda in Seville (1184).[45] Other notable examples include the ruined palace city of Medina Azahara (936–1010), the church (former mosque) San Cristo de la Luz in Toledo, the Aljafería in Saragossa and baths at for example Rondaand Alhama de Granada.

In heraldry[edit]

Coat of arms of Aragon with Moors’ heads.

Arms of the wealthy Bristol merchant and shipper William II Canynges (d.1474), as depicted on his canopied tomb in St Mary Redcliffe Church, showing the coupedheads of three Moors wreathed at the temples

Moors—or more frequently their heads, often crowned—appear with some frequency in medieval European heraldry, though less so since the Middle Ages. The term ascribed to them in Anglo-Norman blazon (the language of English heraldry) is maure, though they are also sometimes called mooreblackmoorblackamoor or negro.[46] Maures appear in European heraldry from at least as early as the 13th century,[47] and some have been attested as early as the 11th century in Italy,[47] where they have persisted in the local heraldry and vexillology well into modern times in Corsica and Sardinia.

Coat of arms of the Nasrid dynasty, the last Muslim dynasty of al-Andalus

Armigers bearing moors or moors’ heads may have adopted them for any of several reasons, to include symbolizing military victories in the Crusades, as a pun on the bearer’s name in the canting arms of Morese, Negri, Saraceni, etc., or in the case of Frederick II, possibly to demonstrate the reach of his empire.[47] The arms of Pope Benedict XVI feature a moor’s head, crowned and collared red, in reference to the arms of Freising, Germany.[48] In the case of Corsica and Sardinia, the blindfolded moors’ heads in the four quarters have long been said to represent the four Moorish emirs who were defeated by Peter I of Aragon in the 11th century, the four moors’ heads around a cross having been adopted to the arms of Aragon around 1281–1387, and Corsica and Sardinia having come under the dominion of the king of Aragon in 1297.[49] In Corsica, the blindfolds were lifted to the brow in the 18th century as a way of expressing the island’s newfound independence.[50]

The use of Moors (and particularly their heads) as a heraldic symbol has been deprecated in modern North America.[51]For example, the College of Arms of the Society for Creative Anachronism urges applicants to use them delicately to avoid causing offence.[52]


Moors on the North African coast, as depicted in Britain in 1739

Populations in Carthage circa 200 BC and northern Algeria 1500 BC were diverse.[citation needed] As a group, they plotted closest to the populations of Northern Egypt and intermediate to Northern Europeans and tropical Africans: “the data supported the comments from ancient authors observed by classicists: everything from fair-skinned blonds to peoples who were dark-skinned ‘Ethiopian’ or part Ethiopian in appearance.”[53] Modern evidence shows a similar diversity among present North Africans. Moreover, this diversity of phenotypes and peoples was probably due to in situ differentiation, not foreign influxes.[citation needed] Foreign influxes are thought to have affected population make-up, but did not replace the indigenous Berber population.[54]

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