By Antonio Garcia | Navalosa (Ávila) (EFE).- The Cucurrumachos, horrifying and ghostly beings, have once again taken over the streets of the Avila town of Navalosa (322 inhabitants) this Fat Sunday of Carnival, to renew an ancestral rite of probable Celtic origin and cattle link, which captivates those who contemplate it.
After releasing the declaration of Regional Tourist Interest last year, this municipality has once again heard the roar of the cowbells, carried by the ‘quintos viejos’, hidden under the penguin blankets, typical of the area, and the wooden masks with horsehair. horse that hide the face of the protagonists.
Around a hundred Cucurrumachos have been appearing in different corners of Navalosa, after fulfilling the tradition of dressing up in garages and houses, helped by family and friends who live with devotion, almost religious, one of the oldest Carnival rites in the province.
In this way, the arrival of visitors has overlapped with the departure of the Cucurrumachos, who meet in different parts of the urban area to later go in procession to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, where an increasingly large and expectant audience awaited them.
In that square, the large trunk of poplar felled on Saturday by the ‘fifth new ones’ -five women and five men- was already prepared, who on Sunday morning went from house to house in search of the money and have collected 1,547 euros- and the food, whose list has been read from the balcony of the town hall.
New fifths and old fifths
The review of the food obtained, from drinks to dozens of eggs -74-, going through sweets, sausage or sweets, has been carried out by the master of ceremonies, María del Carmen González, who year after year recites some coplillas and invites the ‘old fifths’ and the ‘new fifths’ to give “a little spin and a drink” around the May, between rest and rest.
With a temperature of about 15 degrees, in the main agora of this town located about 60 kilometers south of the capital, the old and new fifths have gathered, dressed in a very different way.
The ‘quintos viejos’ -Cucurrumachos- have dressed in sacks and blankets ‘pingueras’ to completely hide their bodies, so that they are unrecognizable to the hundreds of people who come every year to contemplate this tradition.
The clothing they wear was adjusted with the belt, which also serves to support the heavy load that the cowbells of different sizes, carried by the Cucurrumachos on their backs.
The transformation of these beings culminates in a striking wooden mask, to which they add antlers, as well as mane hair and horse tails that contribute to giving these beings an even more ghostly appearance and, in some cases, even cute.
All of them have toured Navalosa, jumping, running and playing with an audience to which straw and small pieces of paper have been thrown, while the deafening noise of the cowbells, music and partying has taken over the town center, at the same time that the public has been invited to taste a comforting chocolate.
These beings that carry different farming implements, are the great protagonists of a festival in which the ‘new fifths’ also play their role around the maypole installed in the square, where they represent scenes of life in the countryside.
Although the origin of this celebration is unknown, its constant nods to the countryside make scholars associate this tradition with the rites of exaltation of livestock, the Celtic tradition or the Galician festas do entroido. EFE