Cuento y Leyenda de Almáchar
Its name comes from the Arab words “maysar” or“machar”, meaning meadow or pasture. There arethose who also interpret the Arab word “al machar”as farmhouse. Just like the other towns in the area, itwas inhabited during the Arab occupation.
- Name of its inhabitants:
One of the interesting things of this town is thepeculiar way the young men had of asking for the handin marriage or to start courting. Protocol demandedthat a woman belonging to the young man’s familyacted as ambassador, going to the house of the younggirl in order to tell the father the good news that herrelative wanted to marry his daughter and to arrangea date for the visit of the future boyfriend. When theday arrived, the young man, dressed for the occasion,went to the young girl’s house and in front of the futurefather-in-law he recited the long list of his good andnoble intentions.
Once this was over, it was the fatherwho gave a long sermon on his daughter’s numerous, unblemished virtues and spoke of all that the suitorhad to achieve if he wanted his consent. If the girlaccepted the commitment, the suitor had to go andvisit her every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
A legend which is part of the town’s history tells ofwhen some sailors who were in the midst of a greatstorm, after their ship had sunk and very near to death,started to plea for help and immediately they saw animage of Christ with a green band, who they imploredto save them from the tragic situation they were in. TheChrist of the Green Band, answering their pleas, gavethem a plank of wood on the water which they wereable to hold on to and therefore save their lives. Thesailors looked for the statue of Christ in all the townsuntil they found it in Almáchar; in thanksgiving thesailors gifted it with two silver lamps.
Another legend talks about a fabulous treasure whichthe Moors buried, as they fled from the Christianinvasion, in a cave near to the river Almáchar whichcrosses the low ridge of the town. Even today, peoplewho like legends about treasures, look for the caveentrance which, allegedly, has been blocked by theaccumulation of sand over time. The legend which hasbeen passed from generation to generation, is stillalive in Almáchar.