1 year ago by in Highlights, news

Ibiza History Spinner Main

 An elderly payesa transforms the tangled fibres of her flock into yarn for jumpers and other garments, deft fingers working distaff and spindle while a faint smile plays about her lips. The white of her straw hat and fleece are echoed by the dazzling almond blossom beyond, placing the moment in midwinter. It’s a timeless shot, and was an iconic book cover. But who is the spinner? Which of the island’s fincas did she call home, and was her life as calm as the scene suggests? A diligent search at first yielded nothing, but shortly after Island Out of Time was published in 2005, descendants came forward. The spinner, it transpired, was Eulalia Marí Torres of Can Pere Tirurit, near Portinatx. Forty years before this portrait was taken her husband, a charcoal burner named Antonio Marí, emigrated to the far north of Argentina. He was illiterate, like most rural Ibicencos, so little was heard of him after his departure, a pattern repeated by battalions of Pityusan emigrants who vanished within the labyrinths of Buenos Aires, Havana and Montevideo. Most got married, of course, and through their progeny maintained a fierce pride in the Ibizan bloodline. For her part, Eulalia was left to raise six children on her own in a remote and forgotten corner of Ibiza, the eldest emigrating to Algeria, while the youngest perished in the Civil War. (A great grandson, Antoni Marí ‘Tirurit’, is an accomplished local illustrator.) Can any of this be glimpsed in her wrinkled features? Perhaps: there is a stoicism and a dignity that reflect resolution in the face of fearful odds. A shepherdess, yes – but also a matriarch. Read more at www.pachamagazine.com

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