The so-called “muñecos mojaqueros” or Mojácar dolls, painted with red clay were a traditional means of protecting the houses and farmhouses of the Sierra de Mojácar. Several authors have written on the origins and name, linking the symbol’s use to the Neolithic period in the province, the Egyptian Ankh and the explosion of Almeria’s most important cultural movement during the 1950s. There is one thing, however on which all agree: this symbol of Mojácar, given the name of Indalo, represents a higher power which protects places and people from danger, as well as from ignorance and evil.
It was at this time that the archaeologist J. Cuadrado learnt of the schematic cave paintings in the Los Letreros cave in Vélez Blanco where one can see a hunter stalking two goats and another figure which H. Breil drew, and which could be understood to be the origin of our Indalo, even though they are not the most important figures in the paintings where the famous sorcerer, the loaves of bread and the suns take pride of place.
For students of the symbol, it can be interpreted as a hunter with a rainbow, a sign of protection from evil spirits or from earthly misfortune. Perceval took this latter to be the symbol’s significance, basing his arguments on the pre-existing Indalos found in Mojácar.
The name Indalo springs from the name Indalecio (Bishop of Urci, who arrived in Spain via Almería) a name which includes the Iberian term “Indal” meaning large, strong, powerful and protective god. Mojácar comes from the Iberian term “Monxacar”, meaning sacred mountain. For thousands of years the Indalo, has been a part of our lives, deeply rooted in the province as a whole and Mojácar in particular.
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