Saturday 1078, 8th February 2020
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The title may have alarmed you a little so let me explain.
I was on holiday in Lanzarote and was on my way back from the late, great, artist, sculpture and architect Cesar Manrique’s house museum in Haria. It was about 5.30pm and I had stopped in a small lay-by for a drink when I saw a man walk past the car… but not just any man! This man was wearing a white outfit painted with black and red diamonds and spots wearing, on his head, what looked like a mask with massive horns, tongue, eyes and teeth.
So despite being rather tired I jumped out of my car with my camera and followed him to find out what on earth was going on. I could hear a lot of shouting and excited shrieking .
At this point I had no idea where I was but it turns out I was in the rather beautiful La Villa de Teguise and what I was about to witness was an ancient part of Carnival called Diabletes de Teguise or little devils of Teguise.
“Los Diabletes are the product of a mixture of aboriginal beliefs with Castilian elements and pagan influences, which dates back to the end of the 16th century.”
Some say it “originated from the Americas, most likely brought by a Lanzarote emigrant upon their return, their origin is as closely tied to the funerary rites of the Mahos—the indigenous people of Lanzarote—as the rites of passage to adulthood”
“The typical clothing worn by Los Diabletes is a white trouser and a shirt painted with red and black rhombus. Also, they wear a big mask similar to a bull face in which emphasises the enormous horns of a billy-goat and the red tongue”
“Their mission? To chase children that they encountered in the street, shouting at them and scaring them while they performed macabre dances around them”
They carry sticks on which are suspended little goats skin bags of sand used to beat the ground, and hit the children with if they get a chance; hence the title of this post.
From what I saw of it the children, of all ages including teenagers, absolutely loved it; baiting the Diablete and then running away; they shrieked with laughter when they were caught and hit. Some adults joined in too and even I got a gentle whack as I was taking photos 🙂
What I haven’t mentioned so far , but what you can see from the photos, is that the Diabletes are covered in bells, which sound every time they move so there is no chance of them creeping up on anyone, but boy do they have to be fit because they were running round the streets for a couple of hours, until it was almost dark. Most of the action I photographed took place around the beautiful Plaza la Constitucion and Parque La Mareta.
They even have apprentice Diabletes and what a cutey he was.
But don’t worry I discovered the Diabletes were really very friendly
It was huge fun and I’m so glad I stopped for a drink and that my natural curiosity got the better of me!
Your comments are welcome as ever.
Saturday Girl signing off.
You can find my photography blog Photomania here