NEITHER MOORS NOR CHRISTIANS: Gender and Power in the Moors and Christians Festival in Alcoi.
Gisbert Gracia, V.
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It has been twelve years since Nuria Martínez entered the Moors and Christians Festival in Alcoi as a female fester . From this moment on, Alcoian society lives in a social conflict which divides the population in two different positions: the first position, which is shared by most Alcoians, defends the festival orthodoxy and traditionality, while the second position wishes for a change in the festival structures to promote the participation of women on equal terms with men. In this conflict, several strategies have been used for each of the two sides to reach their objectives. From the liberal position, led by the Fonèvol association, several action modes have been implemented, some located in the normative and legal field, some others in the public and civil field, and finally others in the education field. From the traditionalist position, led by the San Jorge association and the filaes (organizations which manage the festival), the codes and beliefs which define the Alcoyan festival are created and interpreted, thus providing themselves with very powerful tools within the Alcoyan society. In the present master thesis, by using feminist etnography as investigation methodology, different gender models have been analyzed for the Alcoian society, as well as their place within the prestige and power pyramid of the Alcoian festival. This analysis helped us to understand the reasons for the Alcoian social conflict and the strong opposition to change of most of the Alcoian population.