What is older than historic Spain? Well it’s the Indalo of course!

THE INDALO: Belongs to Mojacar as much as the universal consciousness does to the truth.

IT was discovered prehistorically therefore it has no cursive reference or explanation

It’s called the ‘Indalo’, and everyone that has seen it has given it a meaning and clothed its history. In reality it was discovered prehistorically therefore without cursive reference or explanation. 

The site is referred to as the ‘Cueva de los Letreros’ (cave of the signs) near Velez-Rubio and contains other anthropomorphic figures. Guesstimates project that it was painted probably about 4,000 years ago but not discovered until 1868 by one Antonio Gongora.

The totem was forgotten then for another 80 years until a group of intellectuals in Almeria in 1946 decided to create their own renaissance, to rejuvenate the populace with new ideas and expressions. 

This society of literary and artistic savants wanted to shake the area awake following almost a decade of warfare, Spanish Civil War included. Their idea was to bring culture to the weary throngs craving something innovative. 

So, in accordance with the blossoming industrial era they needed a name and a logo. Reflecting back upon their own cultural history they found just such a solution within their Catholic selves.

Of the famed seven Saints that came to spread Catholicism to Spain, all were foreign other than the one that settled in Almeria, San Indalecio. His name in Latin being derivatives of ‘Indal’ (powerful God) and ‘eccius’ (messenger). Even in the ancient tongue of Iberians ‘Indan’ or ‘Indal’ similarly meant the principal, powerful protector and many of their regional gods had a similar prefix to their names. 

So were named the ‘Indalinos’ of Almeria, next was a logo. That riddle was solved by a young member archaeologist Juan Cuadrado, who had recently reinvestigated in the Cueva de los Letreros complex. He proposed the etched human figure with his arms extended and united above his head with legs wide apart. At a meeting it was given the moniker of  ‘El Indalo’.

In the early 50’s one Jesus de Perceval, who had roots in Mojacar, became a prominent personage in the Indalinos along with famed painter from Huercal-Overa, Canton Checa.  

Frequent visits by the two to Mojacar soon had the image sprouting throughout the town. What better way to ward off the evil eye or bad luck. The adapted symbol was embraced with an eerie passion not just by the literate anymore but by all. 

Usually painted in the form near the front door of any and every house, the totem came to life. It was the Hippie revolution of the early 70’s that made it into jewellery and history. When I arrived in 1969, the older women still dressed in black and veiled their faces. 

The town psychic needed just such a totem, a mystical symbol to ward off evil eyes, nasty storms, and above all… ‘protection’ from the new invading world creeping its way into the village.  

It seems as if the ‘Indalo’ belongs to Mojacar as much as the universal consciousness does to truth.

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