A group of musicians playing verdiales at the Malaga fair. SUR
Malaga's 'verdiales' folk music and dance tradition gets national recognition

Malaga's 'verdiales' folk music and dance tradition gets national recognition

Culture ·

The Spanish government expressly mentioned the verdiales as one of the traditions to be declared of an "intangible cultural heritage" at the national level

Jesús Hinojosa


Friday, 2 June 2023, 11:55


Malaga's verdiales, an ancient folk music and dance tradition, have received official recognition as one of the most genuine traditions of its kind in Spain. The Directorate-General of Cultural Heritage and Fine Arts of the Ministry of Culture declared "traditional guitar playing" as a manifestation of intangible cultural heritage, and expressly mentioned the verdiales of Malaga.

It is a cultural and musical tradition that originated in Los Verdiales, an olive-farming region in the mountains that surround Malaga. This style of music and dance is exclusive to certain geographical points in the province of Malaga, namely the Axarquiá, Valle del Guadalhorce and Montes de Malaga.

"The phenomenon of the verdiales of Malaga, which is undergoing a very strong revitalisation process, currently has a great vitality in terms of the number of groups, a large number of young people and a full calendar of activities throughout the year," a ministry statement published this week said.

"Within this genre of fandangos there are three well-defined styles according to the geographical areas of origin, namely: Montes, Comares and Almogía," the statement added.

The ministry also mentioned the possibility of creating "museum spaces or interpretation centres... with photographs, sound and audiovisual recordings and bibliographic resources".

José María Cuenca, president of a provincial federation of verdiales, described as "fabulous" the government's initiative to include the verdiales as one of the traditions to be declared an intangible cultural heritage at the national level. He said the move was "a boost and a boost of energy to give us more visibility".

The federation brings together some 50 associations that promote the verdiales throughout the year.

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