Huesca temática

Number 187. January-Marzh of 2016 Spanish language Principal menu

Guatizalema: the legend

a river with legend

    The Guatizalema river (from the Arab, Guadix, 'alam': quiet river), is a river started in the lateral north of the occidental slope of the Aineto Mountain Range, province of Huesca, at 1.370 meters of altitude, in the valley of Nocito, and goes to La Almunia del Romeral village, the Gabardiella mountain range and the hole of Huesca, passing by the swamp of Vadiello, for ending in the Alcanadre river. It has a rate of irregular waters.
     Before its conquest by the troops of King Sancho Ramírez, in 1096, is governed the Argavieso castle, by the Moor Captain Abenheya. His wife had died at the hands of Christians, for those who feel a ruthless hatred. The fruit of his marriage is a beautiful daughter named Salaam (Zalema), with a sweet and gentle character, which contrasts with the rough nature of her father.
    She is orphaned when a child. She lives alone, among the slaves without receiving any instructions and neglected by her father, who also prohibits communication to Zalema and she can only relate with the family of a friend, the governor of the castle of Novales. This has two sons and two daughters charming and educated, Zelmira and Fatima, educated by her mother. Fatima and Zelmira usually walk with their mother to a source called the Channels, between Novales and Argavieso. To this place also goes Zalema and togheter their friends share the news and gossip of everyday life of their castles and the neighboring villages.
     An afternoon, is listening raptly Zalema the details of a tournament in Monzón, which witnessed the two sisters, accompanied by their mother. Among all participants stood a Christian, that attracted the attention of those present for his gracious manners and his skill at games. And the Christian ... who gave his reward? -asks Zalema with great curiosity-. Although it is customary to give the jewel to some of these, like reward for attending the party, the Christian not offered any lady and with an unusual sweetness, he kissed it and hid it in his chest -continued telling Zelmira with the loving gaze of the beautiful Zalema-. And who was that Christian? -Zalema inquires with the desire to know the origin of that brave knight-.
    Since then, the kings of Aragon took him as a saint reference, following the tradition that was spreading at that time elsewhere in the hands of the Crusaders.
     The Christian is a Siétamo neighbor, and he was called Guati. He manages a good estate inherited from his father. His mother, a widow, lives in the mountains, with Christians, because of her health, and your child regularly visit to check that she is well served -responds provides Zelmira to meet the concerns of her friend-.
     Zelmira words cause admiration and appreciation of Zalema to the Christian. Two days later, Zalema in the morning is doing her work next to the gate of the road to Huesca. When she looks approaching a well put gentleman, that when he passed gallantly greets. Zalema replied grateful and watch the gentleman continues looking at the gate after passing. Then she will find out that he is the Christian Guati and that his mother has died.
     Unable to present himself in the presence of her father, Zalema writes a note to comfort him and makes reach it by a Christian slave named Maria. "Your God comfort you, Christian gentleman ..." writes Zalema, exposing she has also lost her mother, adding:
     "Do not worry too much, because I heard that Heaven sent the remedy that the mortals need, and even more to you Christians, according to my Christian slave told me. Additionally, your affliction afflicts me and I will work according to the desires of my heart." Guati, leaving the castle, pulls out the paper from his pocket, kissing three times, and many others he takes it to his heart lifting his eyes to Heaven. That afternoon Zalema goes to the source of the Channels to tell his friends what happened.
     Not many days passed without the card would have its answer with humble words of thanks. And the corresponding replica of Zalema. Either in their letters show feelings that come from the heart. A few days later both agree in the Novales Castle and, although at no time they can talk without witnesses, turns the flame of love in their hearts.

      The exchange of letters is continuous. With one Guati sends to Zalema the medal, consisting of a ribbon, which had won in the monsoon tournament. He had saved for his beloved and deceased mother. The gentleman of Siétamo shows his love for the muslim lady of Argavieso.
      Zalema lives in a constant dream of love. In her thought the gentleman always appears. In the afternoons continues to meet with her friends of Novales and when she arrives reaches previously down to the river and the bark of trees types Guati name. Meanwhile, her father takes over the correspondence with Guati and learns the passion that pervades lovers and ordered to assassinate the slave who brings correspondence.
      Zelmira health suffers, very affected by the death of her best slave and the cruelty of her father; in the region the news spreads and many are declared supporters of lovers.
      Youngs, aware of the inscriptions on the trees of the river, come to this place with baskets of flowers to decorate their names. They say not "we go to the river" now , but extends the term "we go to Guati and Zalema". (The saying evolve to "go with Guati and Zalema" to say one that was already in love. The name, which pointed to a part of the river, over the time gave name to Guatizalema river).
      Guati and close friends of Zalema try by all means to save their life. Neither the prayers and tears of Zelmira or request by letter by Guati made resigned Zalema to give up her love, getting at hands of fate. I can not lie or truthfully -says Zalema-. My father and the world will see that respect the religion in fact of not lieing. Guati will die with me. After death we will join. Neither the past delusions of dying Zalema soften the inflexible heart of her father. Before her death leaves a short letter to Zelmira to have it delivered to Guati.

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     This (Guati), to receive it, kiss it three times and close to his heart. The letter says: "I see death and not scare me, my Guati. Forgive me for not giving taste to your desires. In eternity we will be united forever. I love you and I want the world know it. I feel the ice of death and my heart burns ... ... Allah forgive us and bring us together ... forever ... Guati Guati ... ". After reading these lines Guati directed his last words to the friends around you. -"So-and hear, Zalema calls me and I must obey ... My God will absolve me; I ask Him ... You get me, my Zalema. Goodbye friends, weep the Zalema death"-.
      Their bodies are buried in Ola village, where the Guati tomb is and secretly placed in the same funerary urn the two lovers with the following inscription: "Guati and Zalema. Tyranny and superstition separated them. Friendship and death united them forever."
      For the region run a thousand versions of the disappearance of the body of Zalema, but people believe the story of a woman who saw a group of ghosts dressed in white entering in the mausoleum without openning the doors; They took the corpse and went to a nearby hill. Ghosts formed a circle around her, came one by one to kiss her hand, bowing and kneeling. After forming a smoke they disappeared. Then there was a terrible roar, like the sound of thunder and Zalema was turned into a huge rock that once was separated of the hill. There he remained forever the rock of "Muslim Enchanted".
      This story, transmitted by oral tradition, appears more fully in a manuscript of 1840 signed by JPL and dedicated to Teresa Cavero Rossigue Andriani.

Daily of the AltoAragón
Monday, 10th August 2015
José Antonio ADELL & Celedonio GARCÍA

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