ESPADRILLES BARCEMOLA CASTELLERS
Union makes force. This could be the motto of the ‘castells’, the human towers that have long been considered an essential symbol of Catalan identity and, since 2010, Humanity’s Intangible Heritage by UNESCO.
The hug of a large group of people forms the “pinya” (pinefruit) on which the construction of the human castle stands, various smaller and smaller circles that stand up to the sky and, on top, the smallest child of the “colla” (group) stands up and courageously raises his hand, the child it’s “l’Enxaneta”.
In La Manual Alpargatera we understand the value of this tradition as something truly ours and that’s why we decided to dedicate these espadrilles to all the people who keep alive this wonderful tradition, as an artisan tribute : our models of Barcemola espadrilles “Castellers” and “Enxaneta”.
“Castells” have their origin in the eighteenth century, in the areas of Camp de Tarragona or Penedés, although this tradition quickly expanded throughout Catalonia until reaching the Balearic Islands. Its origin comes from the Valencian Moixiganga, part of the old ‘Balls dels Valencians’ that were celebrated around the religious processions and that eventually gained strength and became independent from the dances.
In Catalonia they acquired their own personality and expanded throughout the territory and evolved to their current form. But the authentic motto of the ‘castells’ is the one that arises from the work ‘Els Xiquets de Valls’ by Josep Anselm Clavé: “Strength, balance, courage and sanity”. We would add solidarity, trust and empathy.
Strength because they are people who, dressed in colla-colored shirts, and a large girdle that oppresses their waist, must bear the weight of the entire construction, be able to climb with nothing but their own hands and feet, and stand on the shoulders of his companions without staggering.
Balance because any false step can cause the tower to collapse, forcing those who trust below and give stability to those above. Courage because everyone has to be brave, so many who, from the pineapple hold the base of the construction, like those above, with special emphasis on the ‘Enxaneta’, the boy or girl who raises his arm from the top.
And finally, sanity, because everyone should be aware of what they are doing and devote all their effort nd concentration.
In the ‘castells’, every person is essential, every ‘casteller’ has a role on which all their partners depend. And is that when the people of the ‘colla’ takes action, it becomes one, thus building a human building, alive, dynamic and, of course, spectacular. A Catalan and centennial tradition that teaches us that, the more united, the higher we will reach.
But perhaps its deepest values are the absolute confidence in the team, as well as the empathy and solidarity necessary to achieve it, the essential mortar to sustain and shape the four qualities of which Clavé spoke. At present they constitute the most representative values of Catalan society and culture.
Although the “Castells” are made with bare feet, (except for the “pinya” or base of the towers), these have always been related to espadrilles because they are both closely linked to Catalan culture and tradition.
At La Manual Alpargatera, in addition, we make our castellers principles transferred to handicrafts and our way of working, each craftsman doing his part to get at the end comfortable footwear, well made and surpassing each time.
That is one of the reasons why, at La Manual Alpargatera, we wanted to pay tribute from our Barcemola brand to these people so supportive, empathetic and brave, with comfortable, modern and authentic espadrilles that reflect both their courage and the aesthetics and craftsmanship of both traditions.
The espadrille ‘Castellers’ represents the “Pinya” or base of the “castell” and the lower levels of it, and the model ‘Enxaneta’ represents the pinnacle of the same, which culminates the youngest child of the “colla ”, Known as“ Enxaneta ”.
The espadrilles models “Castellers” and “Enxaneta” of our brand Barcemola have been made with the collaboration of specialist photographers linked to “Colles castelleres” whose photographs have been treated (turn to “sepia” or increased the contrast depending on the case) to prevent it can be identified by colors with a specific “colla”, since although healthy, the rivalry between the different groups – and their followers – is strong, and we wanted to make some espadrilles dedicated to every and each one of them , without distinction.
A handmade, ecological and very comfortable espadrilles with which they can rest deservedly after that great work that touches heroism.
Our thanks so much to the “Colles” as well as to the photographers (Andrea Lopez, Colla Castellera Jove de Barcelona; Jordi Millàs y Vanessa Blánquez, Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls – in order of collaboration) Also to the Coordinadora de Colles Castelleres de Catalunya, for the help received and the good work they all make.