Cuento y Leyenda de Alfarnatejo
Its name is a diminutive of the word “al-farnat”, whichis also the source of Alfarate, meaning flour mill.
- Name of its inhabitants:
The proximity of both towns, Alfarnate and Alfarnatejo, means that they share some events, stories and legends like, for example, the one that follows.
A legend suggests that the origin of the nick-names ofAlfarate (palancos) and Alfarnatejo (tejones) is based more on legend than on historical reality. According to tradition, following heavy rain, a huge rock fell acrossthe only road that linked the two towns, blocking it. Toclear it, the people from Alfarnate decided to go with tools and sticks to use them as leverage, and the people from Alfaratejo took picks and spades with the aim of digging the ground and force the rock to roll down the mountain. The latter method was the most effective one as the rock, in fact, fell as a result of its own weight down the valley where it still remains, allegedly.
There is a tradition that says that when a young man wanted to start seeing a girl of marriageable age,which was commonly known as talking to a girl, hehad to look for a stick or rough walking stick and walk with it at night to the door of the house where the girllived. Naturally, the girl knew the boy who left the stick outside her door that night; now she had to decide whatto do with the stick. If she didn’t quite like the young man or he wasn’t a good match, the girl left the stick outside; on the other hand, if it was a good marriageand the girl loved him, she took the stick and took it into the house which meant the family approved of the startof the relationship.
Once the initial stick in, stick out phase was successfully over and after going out for a time, the girl confirmed the date of the wedding, bought the tufts of wool needed to make the mattress and to start another tradition, the stripping down, a rite followed by the whole community. The tufts were washed to remove the smell and dirt, the custom being that early in the morning the girl would go to Fuente del Conejo (Rabbit’s Fountian) to wash them and, once they were dry, all the single people met in the girl’s house to start the stripping down (taking out all impurities, thorns, etc.). This lasted between ten and fifteen days and became focus for festive meetings which boys and girls were not allowed to go to as the older ones told risquê jokes and stories.
Alfarnate has its own legend of a hidden treasure, as is the case with most of the towns with an Arab past. This legend has recently been updated with the arrival of foreigners from North Africa looking for a treasure following a map talking of Tajo de la Gomera (Gómer Drop) with measurements in yards from a stone which had a horse-shoe nailed to it.