Traditional Folklore on the Island of Ibiza

So we had spent our last day in Ibiza as part of a truly amazing 2 week vacation. The day before, after our little beach experience at Cala Llonga we went to the town of Sant Miquel where they have a live performance of folkloric dancing every Thursday evening at 6:15 pm.

The performance was inside the white-washed church’s inner yard and we sat down with another 40 to 50 tourists to watch a group of about 10 children and teenagers who were all dressed up in traditional Ibizan outfits. The boys wore black or white pants with vests over a shirt and red long hats, almost like nightcaps. The girls all wore headscarves and some of them wore traditional Ibizan wedding dresses with 13 layers of skirts!

They performed a number of dances, with the boys jumping and kicking their legs up high, while the girls mostly walked around them, demurely in tiny little steps. Obviously some courtship and wedding dances, the instruments were mostly a flute, a metal instrument that looked like a sword that was used for percussion, plus a little drum. Some of the flutes played were introduced by the Egyptians around stwo thousand years ago. The boys also used very large castanets. Definitely a very interesting experience, in terms of dress, music and dance, Ibiza is a very unique culture, extremely different from the typical Spanish or Andalusian stereotype of flamenco dancing.

A wedding dress in Ibiza: 13 layers!

Today we went into Sant Antoni where I took a 1.5 hour boat ride (8 Euros) on a glass bottom boat. We went around the south part of Sant Antoni bay to Cala Bassa. A diver was also on board and at one part we stopped and she dove in and brought back a few animals, 2 sea worms, a sea star and a very thorny animal who´s name I forget. We went around the islands off the Bay of Sant Antoni, beautiful area. On the way back, the ship´s crew served local champagne in a unique, curved flask that deposited the drink directly on the recipient´s tongue. Some of the boaters quite willingly partook of the ritual.

We then spent the afternoon at Platja des Comptes where we went swimming and watched a beautiful sunset in front of the little islands off the coast. It was crowded at the beginning, but it thinned out nicely around 3, 4 pm or so and we had more space on the beach. One local man came back from diving with a harpoon and he brought in an octopus which immediately drew a crowd of onlookers from the beach. Just before sunset we went to a smaller little cove where we saw a jelly fish just floating around, against a backdrop of golden rocks, which alerted us to the imminent sunset.

Many people congregated and the sun dropped slowly but surely into the water, just to the right of one of the larger islands off the coast. A fitting evening to our last night in Ibiza. All in all, it´s a beautiful place, just large enough for a week of exploration and compact enough so we never had to do much driving, the biggest distance on the island from one point to another I believe is 40 km.

Glorious sunsets on Ibiza.

A great vacation!!!

October 1, 2004, 9:50 pm

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