Mallorcan Rondallas: Let me tell you about it

December 30, 2018
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The best way to get to know a place is to discover its traditions. So, if you are going to travel to Majorca and want to know more about the Mallorcan character, we invite you to know the Rondallas. Because a holiday in Majorca can be something more than sun, beach and party.


Mallorcan rondallas, "rondaies mallorquines" in Mallorcan style, are traditional tales of the folklore of Majorca. There is no written record of Mallorcan rondallas up to 1880, as they were previously transmitted from generation to generation orally, when Antoni Maria Alcover Sureda began to compile them under the pseudonym of Jordi D'es Racó. This compilation would be published under the title: “Aplec de rondaies mallorquines d’en Jordi d’es Recó”.


The structure of the collection makes the origin of the source clear: Naming from who it was told, if there were several people from different towns and even if the characters of the Rondalla belonged to that town. The compilation required a huge work by the author in which he tried to keep as much as possible the way they had been told, collecting the typical Mallorcan expressions. However, the published text underwent a certain transformation, well because the material was incomplete or the criterion of the collector.


Mallorcan Rondallas share elements in common with popular tales from other parts of Europe, Spain included. There are talking animals, demons, giants, dragons and characters similar to some known as Cinderella or Snow White. Some also part from the argument of works as famous as the Merchant of Venice.


But, in addition to these common points, the Rondallas contain many own and original values that reflect the idiosyncrasy of the Mallorcan people of the time; Like for example the taste for the scatological humour.


To warn that these tales are product of his time, so, seen with the eyes of now, they can be sexist and politically incorrect. But we also extol timeless virtues such as honesty, help to others and simplicity.


To finish, we propose a tempting plan to enjoy it during your holidays in Majorca: imagine yourself reclined placidly in a deckchair of the garden of your villa in Majorca, with the sun of the dusk reflecting in your private pool, a glass of Mallorcan wine in one hand and the compilation of the Rondallas translated into English by David Huelin in the other.


Doesn’t it sound tempting?


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