Sunday, June 15, 2014
Starting on May 9 Gaucin, our Pueblo Blanco in Andalusia, reenacted the sacking of the village by Napoleon’s troops in 1810 and the subsequent peasant uprising of 1812 called La Toma which the drove the French from the town. Just two years later the French were chased out of Spain for good.
Each year the citizens of Gaucin and surrounding towns reenact the French takeover and their overthrow on a spring weekend. It’s some fiesta. It’s like celebrations of Paul Revere’s 1776 ride and the shot heard round the world in Concord, Massachusetts but with more revelry. That’s Spanish for drinking.
Like the reenacters of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, their Spanish brethren, especially those playing French soldiers, have spared no expense in acquiring period specific regalia for the big battle. These players belong to the Napoleonic Association of Abuera. Who knew such a thing existed? The rebels are played by men and women from Gaucin and Ronda and their costumes are more modest. They are after all peasants.