Watching a “Ball Pagès” (what we call the Peasant’s Dance) is something you definitely must experience if you want to know deeper the amazing culture of the island.
Usually performed on the main squares of each town, if you are in Ibiza or Formentera during any of its popular festivities, you have strong chances to join them on this colourful and charming tradition.
This folkloric performance of uncertain origin is quite curious (and romantic). The movements of the men and the women are very different—check out their feet and you’ll see—. While men constantly move and jump playing the castanets and trying to catch the women attention (any resemblance with the animal kingdom is purely coincidence), the women stay still, next or in front of the men. These female soft movements represent the different phases of the moon, which gives us a clue of its origins, probably related to the Phoenician times, considering that their goddess Tanit also represented the energy of the moon.
The music is very special: they play the drums, the flute, the espasí (a metallic percussion instrument that looks like a sword) and large castanets, creating a unique rhythm that has been part of their history for centuries. And the outfits are spectacular, too. While the man dresses all in white with a vest with filigree bells, a red cloth and a dead barretina (a red or dark-violet woolen cap), the woman stands out, even more, covering her peasant dress with a lot of jewelry. The most important piece is the emprendada, a necklace with filigree decoration, a cross, and a glass medallion, as well as numerous gold rings, which she shows constantly to her partner, making him know the wealth of her family.
Parties are not like they used to be… Hmm?
Featured image: blog.hrhibiza.com
Also published on Medium.