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Montamarta (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-11-14 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Montamarta

The municipality of Montamarta (593 inhabitants in 2019 vs. 1,576 in 1950; 5,681 ha) is located 20 km north of Zamora.

Ivan Sache, 26 May 2020

Symbols of Montamarta

The flag and arms of Montamarta are prescribed by an Agreement issued on 31 March 2020 by the Municipal Council and published on 7 April 2020 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 71, p. 13,991 (text).
The symbols, which were initially approved on 20 December 2019, are supported by a memoir redacted by the specialist Ricardo Gil Turrión.
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Quadrangular, in proportions 1:1. Horizontally divided, the upper part, red, and the lower part, white, bretessed with a white upper stripe, in width 1/6 of the flag's width, with 9 crenels of 1/18 of the flag's width and a red lower stripe, in width 1/6 of the flag's width, with 9 crenels of 1/18 of the flag's width. Charged in the center with the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Spanish shield rounded-off in base. Per fess argent and gules a castle countercolored surmounted by the Virgin of the Castle the gate charged with a zangarrón mask and a trident. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown.

The mask and trident refer to the El Zangarrón festival (video), one of the best preserved traditional winter masquerades in the province of Zamora.
El Zangarrón is a grotesque character who scours the streets of the village, hitting whoever he can with his stick. The origin of the masquerade is unknown but remote; some say that El Zangarrón is the descendant of a shaman from the Prehistoric times, other relate him to the Roman God Janus. Anyway, the festival is linked to old fertility rituals set up at the turn of the year. The local tradition claims that the masquerade dates back to a procession that aimed at calling St. Stephen's protection against black plague, to no avail; the upset villagers decided to stone the saint's statue, a blaspheme which was prevented by a wise villager who showed up costumed as El Zangarrón and diverted the stoners.

Ivan Sache, 26 May 2020