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Cuento y legenda de Canillas de Aceituno

Diputación de Málaga

Cuento y legenda de Canillas de Aceituno

The meaning of the name of Canillas de Aceituno alluding to its numerous olive groves is the generally accepted one. However, the fact that the Moors had an important business in this town making and selling silk for over eight centuries gives rise to the theory that CANILLAS refers to “the small cane where the weavers wind the silk or thread to later put in the shuttle”, and that on the other hand ACEITUNÍ is “a very rich oriental cloth”. The importance of this production meant that the Moors themselves called the silk they made ALZAYTÚN. All this would lead one to believe that silk production in Canillas de Aceituno was more than just a cottage industry.

  • Name of its inhabitants:


  • Famous Personalities:

The most famous and colorful personality according to legend is Andrês Xorairán, better known as El Salteador de Canillas de Aceituno (the Highwayman of Canillas de Aceituno). He was an excitable man who led some of the better known events of the Moorish revolts in 1.569. He attacked convoys and towns and cities in the area.

  • Legend:

Antonio de Canillas. Antonio Jimênez González, was born in 1.929. Born in Canillas de Aceituna and one of its Favorite Sons, he is seen as the veteran of the flamenco singers of Málaga. He has singing flamenco for over forty years and has been awarded numerous national flamenco prizes. He is in possession of La Lámpara Minera del VI Concurso de Cante de las Minas de la Unión in Murcia (The Miner’s Lamp Trophy of the IV Song Festival of Murcia). He is a great singer of “saetas” (sacred songs in the flamenco style) and he is credited with the creation of the Málaga saeta. He sings the different flamenco styles in a masterly way. His contribution to Rito y geografîa del Cante, Magna Antologîa del Cante Flamenco, Cultura Jonda y Sabor a Málaga (an Anthology of Flamenco Singing) are considered important by flamenco fan.

Over the years, his singing has improved and he has managed to maintain his registers in his characteristic clear and splendid way. This acclaimed singer’s dignity and ability have been important for the success of the show “Paisanos”, a production that opened during the I Edicion del Festival ‘Malaga en Flamenco’ (I Malaga Flamenco Festival) organized by the Málaga Provincial Government.

According to stories, a Moor called Al Muezzîn, who helped the inhabitants of the Alpujarra during the famous revolt in the XVI century, arrived in Canillas looking for his wife, who was at the time the slave of a Christian. Al Muezzîn led the rising in Canillas de Aceituno and some of his men, encouraged by the cause, killed eight Christians who they found in an inn. The judge of Vêlez, informed of the fact, imprisoned an indeterminate number of Moors who were tortured and stripped of their property; as a result the uprising spread. Once this was put down, the Moors were expelled from the town and the castle was destroyed on the orders of Phillip II.

As part of the legend, people talk of the story, transmitted by word of mouth from parents to children, that explains how the statue of the Virgen de la Cabeza (Virgin of the Head), patron saint of Canillas de Aceituno, was made in Antioch by Saint Luke the evangelist, carved from the face of the Virgin who he had known personally in Palestine. The statue was taken by Saint Peter on his visit to Andújar in the year 50 AD. It was hidden up in the mountains for nearly 500 years during the Moorish occupation and was later found; following this a sanctuary which bears its name was built on the  spot where it was found and a replica is venerated.


Chronicles and Legends (si se trata de historia)
Zip Code 29716