Rondallas are folktales typical of the island of Majorca; traditional stories passed on from generation to generation by word of mouth.
The oldest date back to 1880, when Mossén Antoni Sureda Maria Alcover gathered a collection under the pseudonym Jordi d'es Raco. In a nutshell, they are folk tales told and written with very traditional vocabulary and expressions that reflect the cultural identity of the Balearic Islands.
Such was the popularity of these collections of stories, that they were recorded and broadcast on the radio from the late fifties to the mid seventies. Nowadays, grandparents (called "padrins" in the Majorcan dialect) are the ones responsible for transmitting these stories to the little ones.
Rondallas contain elements that are common in folk tales from other parts of Spain, and European countries in general. They have characters equivalent to Snow White, Cinderella (known as Francineta), talking animals and fantasy characters like giant (gegants), demons (dimonis) and dragons (dracs).
In every story, the characters are from Majorca, live in Majorca and their adventures take place, for the most part, on the island.
Rondallas are full of humour, which is always fun for the younger audiences. Some of the most renown on the island are: En Juanet i es set missatges (Little John and the seven messages), Un festetjador (Of marriable age), S'Hermosura del món (The world’s most beautiful), Sa fia d'escarboneret (The coal man’s daughter), En Martí Tacó (Martin Tacó), Es ca d'En Bua i es moix d'En Pejulí (Bua’s dog and Pejulí’s cat), N'Estel d'or (Golden Star), Na Magraneta (Little Pomegranate), Sa jaia Xeloc i sa jaia Bigalot (granny Xeloc and granny Bigalot), En Juanet de sa gerra (John from the war), and Es tres germans i es nou gegants (Three brothers and nine giants).