Flamenco Origins


FLAMENCO: music closely related to guitar, singing, dancing, the «palmas» [that is the handclapping] beating its time and the castanets. Nowadays it is considered to be the most typical Spanish element the world over.There is not even one place in the world that FLAMENCO art is not known and respected. This happens because in the creation of FLAMENCO contributed all the traditions that flourished or were transported to Andalucia between the 8th to 15th century maintaining their Hellenic , Indian, Egyptian, Jewish and Moorish roots.

ANDALUCIA is the souther region of Spain and it is divided to the following provinces:
If all these elements were not gathered in Andalucia may be FLAMENCO would not exist today. This could happen also, if the gypsies would not arrive in Andalucia during that period. Their possible origin is India because the gypsies language -romani- is very similar to the Indian one -sanscrit-.

GYPSIES left India at the beginning of the 9th century. After settling in Greece for some centuries they were distributed to Balkanic peninsula, Russia, Austria, Hungary, Netherlands and on 1452 they reached the Iberian peninsula. Spanish people thought that they were from Egypt and they called them Egyptians, in Spanish «Egiptanos» which was paraphrased to «Gitanos» which means Gypsies. By that time they lived in Spain under poor conditions and great deprivation.
At the end of the 15th century an edict against all nomad tribes, gypsies included, obliged them to leave the country within 60 days.It was that time that many gypsies took shelter to Andalucia where they mainly dealt with agriculture being protected by the nobles of the region.

Gypsies’ expulsions were continued until 1759. During the expulsions there was a misunderstanding about the name “gypsies” so they adapted the nickname “FLAMENCO” which is a word of Arabic derivation meaning “farmer of your group”. Until 1759 the art of FLAMENCO was a secret one, only for the gypsies, connected with their way of life, the expulsion or the deprivations they underwent and was never executed in public. From now on their art is starting to be presented in public, having been named after the gypsies’ nickname: FLAMENCO.