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The Paloteado of Cortes

Fiestas, traditions and events of interest / Dances

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The Paloteado of Cortes (southern Navarre) is unquestionably the most famous stick dance in the whole region. It is believed to have originated at the end of the 19th century. On the same date as the festival for the town's patron saint, St. Michael, on 29th September, the dancers tour the streets of the town while clashing their sticks harmoniously to the beat of the music in an elegant dance.

In the afternoon there is a theatrical performance of the Dichos and Diálogos, in which the dances are performed by the stick dancers and the verses are recited by the Mayoral, the Rabadan, the Angel and the Devil. The Dichos are always the same verses about Good and Evil, while the Diálogos change every year as they take a light-hearted look at the events that have taken place during the year in Cortes.

This is a predominantly male dance in which the boys wear a white shirt, short jacket, stockings and longjohns, a black and grey scarf on their heads, a blue sash and a large red scarf/bandolier across the chest. The women's costume is similar, but with a green skirt and white clogs.

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