Origin of the Moixiganga
The origin of the moixiganga is not any clear. To mine parer this dance has been the result of the conjunction of several elements of the popular culture of different zones that have coincided in a same territory.
In the first place we can place how one possible influence the known dance as a Contrapàs. The Contrapàs is a dance with a deep religious sense, shot that shares with the moixiganga as well as also the treatment of the mysteries during the execution of the dance. These two coincidences make possible the derivació of a same origin. If besides we know that the most ancient data situates the Contrapàs in Tarragona , results very possible and credible the relation between the moixiganga and this religious dance.
In the same way, we remember that the ballaires of the moixiganga have the privilege of can enter the churches with the head covered. This yes, whenever they dress the own clothing of the dance. This fact also can us bring to relate the moixiganga with the Contrapàs since this last was danced originally in same of the temples. This habit was not not of the taste of the ecclesiastical more conservative, since for this fact protested. All and with this the moixiganga continued and continues dancing to the interior of the churches with his typical hat. What yes achieved was to prevent that the entremesos purely pagan entered to dance to the temples. Surely that this tradition to dance with hat has been allowed since the antecessor, the Contrapàs, already was danced in the temples and his descendant, the moixiganga, inherited this characteristic.
For another band this religious slope that has the moixiganga it could be the case that it was not originari. I refer me that, surely, the moixiganga original of which has derived what now know was not necessarily religious. With this am saying many things. In the first place I will justify the affirmation and lately will expose the hypotheses that derive .
Justify my affirmation the similarity that saves the moixiganga with the previous dances (mojiganga and muixeranga) at the same time that also with the dance of Valencian . These dances, for his similarity, are surely, the origins of the moixiganga with the only difference that manquen of religious sense. To save this differentiates and finish to give sense to the hypothesis, argue the celebration of the Concili of Trento . This meant the need to award a remarkable religious sense to the antecessors pagan dances in order to keep them. The same that the moixiganga, other entremesos or dances saw transformed, in small measure, in order to be turned into a religious celebration and ensure like this his continuity. It was an intelligent way of disfressar pagan celebrations and do silenciar the most conservative sectors of the Church with a solution convincent.
If they consider as a valid my previous hypothesis, since it has been justified reasonably, can conclude that the moixiganga is “the same thing” that the mojigangues and muixerangues and also that the dance of Valencian, only that with a religious sense purchased artificially. Perhaps more than being “the same thing” would have to say that all taken out dances proceed of a common substrate that it would be the dance of Valencian.
I consider the dance of Valencians like the root of the diverse dances since it is the simplest and the most ancient as the documentation that have. The dance of Valencian dates of 1674 while the muixeranga and the mojigangas date, both, of the 18th century . How already we have aimed previously5 the dance of Valencian has his origin to the south of the Catalan Countries, especially attends us the Valencian Country. If we remember the historical origins of the lands of the Iberian Peninsula will be able to remember that it happened big part of the average age partially dominated for Muslim caliphs. The Muslim conquest finalised in the 714 desprès of three years of avanç without receiving a strong opposition. Finally the zone that are student was reconquerida for James I of Aragon the year 1238, moment in which the Christian Crown of Catalonia and Aragon recovered the city of Valencia. If we do accounts see that the Valencian territory was more than five centuries under Muslim command. If besides we remember that many of the installed Islamic inhabitants remained once reconquerida the land paying a tribute, will justify the strong influence that this culture had on the south lands of the Principat.
During these years, between other things, the Arabs left a part of his bequeathed cultural of between which have to highlight, in concordança with the subject that treat, the human buildings. In fact, the simple fact to go up ones to envelope of the other is not not a milestone proposed by an only civilisation but that the big majority of them have proposed it . Simply for practical reasons already is necessary the building of human towers. I Will put a very simple example to do evident my affirmation: already in the prehistory, to achieve the fruits of the trees that found to an upper height to the of a man, was necessary to do a small human pillar. It is a very simple building but also buildings a bit more complex could do necessary to save murs, look for on the walls, etc… Like this, since it arose in a land with many shots inherited of the Muslims believe very possible that the origin first was this same culture .
Of this dance brought by the Arabs arose the dance of Valencians that to the same Valencian country would be totally absurd to receive this denomination5. Therefore, to give a logical name to the dance was called moixiganga or harm translated muixeranga. The first muixeranga is what danced and at present still keeps to the vila of Algemesí . The same toponym already is us indicating an important past Islamic since the prefix to the- of the name of the village is symbol of the Arab origin of the population. This new reason serves to do a bit clearer the procedència of the dance.
For another band, also find indicis to have danced the moixiganga to the zone Empordanesa although now already have lost this habit. This data shows that the moixiganga was danced also to indrets of the Pyrenees.
In fact and although it seem surprising, these dances correspond also to the of Pyrenean villages. The main reasons that caused that the habits of Catalan north villages reached the zone costanera relate with the migratory movements that the human communities practise. These movements are caused, especially, for the transhumance. The shepherds at the same time that they transported his herds extended his traditions, habits and dances to the meridional zone until where displaced in the winter to the research of a climate benvolent.
But the transhumance is not the only reason that comported the extension of the Pyrenean culture. Also they contributed to the fact the desplaçaments of groups of segadors that moved for all the Catalan territory to collect the harvests that took place to the different indrets of the principat for each period of the year. Like this, these workers of the field followed an annual cycle that resorted the zones muntanyenques of the Pyrenees until our coasts.
The migratory movements interns that practised since remote times to our principat have left us numerous prints that, sometimes, take shape of legends how that that ensures that the Moors, since the caves of Olèrdola, arrived to the sea and therefore fed of fish and resisted the sieges. The same legend explains to inner territories like the Jonquera or Foixà.
Other blows the bequeathed left by the influences of the villages pirinencas translates in aliances between villages, marriages, inheritances, commercial exchanges between towns of different extreme and what, in that case, occupies us that the exchange of popular culture and in concrete of popular dances.
This familiarity with the zones of mountain can be the reason that justify the apparition of the vest in the wardrobe of the moixiganga. In fact, any of the dances of his same family in door. If we do a repàs of the other popular dances will find another that also uses . This dance is of Pastorets and of new brings us to the rural origin of the dance. For this reason am of the opinion of that the moixiganga also has been influenciada for the Pyrenean culture which contributed the typical vest of the shepherds.
Finally already only it remains us justify the denomination of the mojigangas. These representations mascarades have received this name because of the extravagància so much of the dress and of the performances of his dancers. The mojigangas would be the last stair of the evolutionary scale that suffered the dance; although for another band also find the castles that would be the independització of the pillars that built to the end of the complete representations of the dances.