Moors and Christians battle in Puerto Pollensa. | Pere Bota

For the first time since 1864, the re-creation of the 1550 Moors and Christians battle during Pollensa’s La Patrona fiestas will feature the active involvement of women. This is the main reason why the town hall will be installing temporary security cameras on two streets where the battle is at its most intense.

The use of cameras was discussed at the meeting to consider security arrangements for the fiestas, which start in the final week of July and conclude with the battle on the second of August. Authorisation for cameras trained on the public way has to be obtained from the national government delegation in the Balearics.

As well as the cameras, the mayor, Tomeu Cifre, is to make an official announcement advising parents that underage children - both boys and girls - can only take part in the battle if they are accompanied by adults or if they have signed authorisation. “It is a question of security. The town hall cannot take responsibility for minors.”

The narrow streets do get very crowded and will be more so because of the participation of women, who will join the battle near to Sant Jordi Church.

Pere Salas, Pollensa’s historian, has provided the evidence which indicates that women used to take part in the simulation. This came from the Pollensa writer Ramon Picó i Campamar.
In 1858, he described how women entered the battle at Sant Jordi. Armed with spindles, they shifted the balance of the battle in favour of the Pollensa villagers.