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Curiosities

THE PETRAS VIRGIN

Approximately years ago, a boy from Bachicabo maintained he had seen a Virgin in a small hollow, this latter took the name of the Petras Virgin.

CuriositiesA little later a girl from Espejo joined him and maintained that the Virgin possessed miraculous powers.

The boy from Bachicabo, as proof of this, predicted that if he hurled himself from the top of a pine tree, the Virgin would protect him and nothing would happen to him.

The local people laughed on remembering that the chosen pine tree was barely more than two metres high and the boy effectively came through unharmed.

Offerings to the Virgin began to be repeated and very soon, the hole from which it was said that she appeared filled with flowers and candles. The news spread quickly and people from Tobalina, Miranda and surrounding towns started to come.

There were those in Bachicabo who maintained they had seen the Virgin with her long gown, moving along; there were also meetings, around one of which it was specified from where the Virgin's forecast visit would be awaited on the balcony of a neighbouring house.

It soon became known that it was a con, the story barely lasted a few months. It is told that one day, the inhabitants of Villanañe, fed up with that parody, went there armed with sticks and punished the devotees and visionaries.

Another version tells that it was the ecclesiastical authorities who came and after interviewing the boy, the latter admitted that it was all a joke and he had never seen the Virgin.

It may be that they were all the boy's ideas, but it is also possible that in an age of hunger and hardship, the inventiveness of the people resorted to this type of trick to attract people.

the origin of nicknames

The use of nicknames, so customary in Álava's everyday history, did not only affect families and individuals, but entire populations.

The inhabitants of Álava's rural areas have always been especially given to re-baptise their fellow citizens with nicknames which, with the passage of time, have been converted into an authentic identity, even supplanting their original name.

So much so that, in but a few cases, the nicknames have been inherited from generation to generation even including every descendent of the primitive alias.

But not only did the people individually enjoy these nicknames, at times arising from odd anecdotes and not always free from a certain "ill-feeling".

Thus, all of Álava's population centres and, by extension, each one of their inhabitants, rely on their own collective nickname.

However, the change in lifestyles and the progressive geographical expansion which restricts day to day interpersonal relationships, threaten to banish this odd tradition into oblivion.

In the majority of cases, these nicknames are intimately connected to the true history of these very towns.

- In some cases, it has been customary to identify neighbours in certain localities by the most common crops or plants in their fields.
- In other cases by the trades to which the locals devoted themselves.
- By the most common animals in the locality.
- By their behaviour. Normally these nicknames have a humorous element behind them, which claims to generalize the behavioural traits of certain towns' inhabitants, which are not desired by everyone and originate from customary grudges.
-In other cases their origin is connected to some era in the town's history.

The nicknames of each town which makes up this valley are shown in the following table.

Acebedo Tarugos
Astulez Judios, Catufones
Bachicabo Novillos
Barrio Gurrufitos,Zurufitos,Michines
Basabe Cerraus. Que cierran el culo con llave.
Bellojín Corrusqueros
Bóveda Zurruneros
Caranca Aguiluchos
Cárcamo Lantones
Corro Testarudos
Espejo Robacristos, arbejeros
Fresneda Levaduras
Guinea Moricos
Gurendes Mataliendres
Lahoz Arbejeros
Lalastra Charrines
Mioma Ahumaos
Nograro Zurruqueros
Osma Pasajeros
Pinedo Mojaus
Quejo Aloyas
Quintanilla Raposos
Ribera Gurrunes,Balagos,Gurrumberos
Tobillas Zapateros
Tuesta Tostaus
Valluerca Garduños
Villamaderne Zanahorieros
Villamardones Zanahorieros
Villanañe Ranas, Callaranas
Villanueva Papeleros