Moreška – sword dance

Posted By Anita / September 30, 2015 / attractions, culture, News / 0 Comments

Moreška is a sword dance which originated in the 12th or 13th century in the Mediterranean. It is assumed that Moreška came to Korčula in the 16th century from Spain through Southern Italy and Dubrovnik.

Later, over centruries Moreška has disappeared from the Mediterranean and today it is only looming in some remote areas. Meanwhile, in Korčula it has become rooted as a tradition. Nowadays, it has transformed from a combat sword dance to an attractive sword dance with enormous entertainment value. In its essence, Moreška is a battle for a maiden’s affection steaming from traditional Mediterranean stories and legends. The oldest and well known love story is the Trojan war story and it has been reenacted in Korčula by enthusiasts for decades.

The name MOREŠKA originated from the Moors – Moris, a Spanish tribe. Over time an adjective morisco was formed in Spanish, the Italians adopted it as moresco to define a Spanish combat sword dance and later on the dance became known as MORESCA.

It is assumed that Moreška was first performed in Spain, Lerid in 1150. First written records about Moreška being performed in our region date back to 1273 in Trogir. This chivalrous game has been performed yearly in Korčula since the 15th century.

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