Mariquita la Pelona, a legend from Toledo

Mariquita la Pelona, a legend from Toledo

Now that there are only a few days left for many to end their holidays (and many more to enjoy), we offer you a curious legend of Toledo, which we sometimes tell in the guided tours we make in the city.

By the way, if you want to hear this legend and many others that we have published on our website, you can visit our city, following the recommendations we make in “what to visit in Toledo”. And if you don’t know how to get there and you prefer to move around more freely, you can choose an alternative means of transport and rent a car.

And now, the legend of Toledo, “Mariquita la Pelona” :

There was no greater displeasure in the life of Juan Lanas, an old Christian from Toledo and a bit of a rascal, than losing a lawsuit over land and disbursing a large sum of maravedíes. Such was the sorrow that in a few days he became ill and blind.

Juan had a daughter, called Mariquita, an honest and hardworking maiden, of amazing beauty, especially because of a long blonde hair that he cared for with care every morning. Day and night she regretted the state of her father, to such an extent that one day they went to a well-known Arab doctor to see if it was possible to find a remedy for the evil that was afflicting her.

After the examination, the doctor claimed to be able to return sight to his father, but the ingredients needed to carry out the cure had to come from far away, which made the price for the remedy 500 maravedíes de oro.

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Where would they get that kind of money?

His house was frequented by a good friend of the family, belonging to the squires’ guild, named Maese Palomo, who loved Mariquita in silence, but unable to recognize her love lived with the anguish that, one day, Mariquita would say yes to another man. Her shyness prevented her from confessing her loves.

One afternoon when she was visiting the family home, she announced that an aunt of the corregidor had died, and that it was necessary to find honest maidens who wanted to carry the coffin, thus receiving a duchy, and she wondered if Mariquita would be willing. The proposal seemed good to everyone, and our young lady went to the right place to wear the white habit, the girdle and the crown encircled in her beautiful hair.

In the procession that carried the body of the deceased, the wife of the Corregidor noticed the splendid mane of Mariquita, because due to fevers had lost all his hair, becoming totally bald. Tired of wearing scarves and hats, at the end of the act she asked her husband to talk to her and offer any amount of money to Mariquita to get her beautiful hair.

The next morning, the Corregidor approached our maid’s house offering 100 maravedíes if she agreed to have all her hair cut and braided. Mariquita missed this very much, because the amount offered was not scarce, and he would surely be willing to pay much more.

In this way, Mariquita was demanding greater sums, which the Corregidor accepted, reaching the figure she needed to cure her father of five hundred maravedíes!

So, with a lot of pain, he summoned the corregidor the next day to pick up his braided hair, and as soon as that important character came out he ran to get some scissors and started cutting his hair…

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Once he had finished, with tears in his eyes, he approached a mirror and with more fear than anything else, he looked at it, an unknown image appeared: his without any hair, his pain being so strong that he immediately put on a handkerchief to cover his baldness, and taking his father by the arm, he took him to the doctor to start the cure, promising him that the next morning he would have his money.

Everything went as it should have. The Corregidor paid the agreed money. The doctor, after collecting the amount, finished the treatment and healed the patient, and in a few days, seeing Mariquita, the master squire, in such distress, he asked for the hand of our maiden, even bald, with the consent of the father who saw in Maese Palomo a generous man with a good heart.

Legend has it that so many good circumstances came together that Mariquita decided from that day on, and in memory of these events, to be nicknamed Mariquita “la pelona”, because she would never again let her hair grow, symbol of the superficial, but would dedicate herself to looking for beauty inside people.

” Such an adventure was the one so remembered in the Castillas

fizo a la fermosa fija del buen Joan Lanas, which in efeto

married Maese Palomo, é was one of the most honest

women in the perilustre cibdad of Toledo.

Published in the newspaper “El Tajo” in August and September 1867, by D. Juan Eugenio Hartzenbusch .

Version published in “ La Vuelta a Toledo en 80 leyendas ” by Javier Mateo and Luis Rodríguez Bausá.

Publication start: 20/08/2015