Cuento y leyenda de Benamargosa
As far the name Benamargosa is concerned it is worth mentioning that it is Arabic in origin although its meaning has yet to be deciphered.
- Name of its inhabitants:
It is worth saying that its inhabitants should be called “benamargonesenos”, but the locals and the people from the area tend to use the term “mangurrinos”.
- Famous personalities:
José Pinto y Palacios, better known as “El Cura Pinto” (The Blotchy Priest), who stands out as a result of the help he gave the army and the guerillas in keeping up the resistance to the French occupation putting the church’s property at the disposal of the resistance.
José Beltrán Ortega, was known as “Nino de Velez” (the Velez Kid). He was born in Benamargosa on the 9 April, 1.906. He spent his childhood and youth in the Velez district of Triana and died in Vélez-Málaga on the 27 December, 1.975.
A lover of flamenco singing since he was a child he created a personal style. He sang in the most important cafés and theatres of the time. He is the writer of many Málaga tunes, amongst others this one which goes:
Caleta and El Limonar, / Long live Málaga with
Caleta and El Limonar, / Its Park covered in Flowers
Near the Sea Shore, / Where Love is born
Talked about in history and in legends, smuggling became especially interesting, resulting from the anecdotes and imaginative speculations which it gave rise to.
The number of locals involved in the comings and goings involved in smuggling and the volume of goods coming in from Gibraltar meant that Benamargosa, at the end of the XIX century, became known, not only in Málaga but also in the rest of Andalusia, as Little Gibraltar. Its fame is reflected in a ballad sung by a woman from Ubrique:
Long live my town, gentlemen/ I’m from Benamargosa
Where cigarettes are sold/ Like anything else.
This trade gave rise to the famed skill that the men of the town had for going along paths and passes to avoid being found by the feared Guardia Civil as they went from Gibraltar with their horses laden with prized merchandise.