Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rusty Icon

There he is, the Indalo as celebrated and revered by the City of Almería. The totem is called El Indalo and is said to be a good-luck sign and so on. It has become very commercial these days, which is inevitable, and like most things of this type, endless hogwash has been written in the past few years about the 'little man with the rainbow'.

To begin, the Indalo is nothing to do with Almeria City. It was, er, 'bought' from Mojácar during the glorious years of mayor Bartolome Flores by an advertising group called 'Plataforma' which, in part exchange, designed a brand-new image for Mojacar (which had quietly used the Indalo since its christening in the late fifties) of the outline of a mountain and a sun peeping over its shoulder. Very original, you'll agree, in a country with 50,000 mountainous and sunny pueblos. The Almería tourist authority took on the Indalo and promptly re-designed it for the eighties. While my picture shows the 'original' design, the Almería tourist version, now seen on trucks all over the country and sold as jewelry items in our local stores - plus being used in our metal fences on the main road connecting the town of Mojácar with the playa, is the Almería favoured one (thanks to the Plataforma team) - a kind of unsymmetrical hunchbacked version with a skipping rope.

The Indalo is claimed as being a neolithic painting in a cave in Vélez Blanco (an attractive pueblo in the north east of the province with a superb castle). Some suggest it was painted there only in the thirties. Whichever is true, the symbol has (or at least was) always been identified with Mojácar. And, unlike Almería City, if we only had a statue of one, we (hopefully) wouldn't have let it go rusty.


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