Hundreds of Andalucíans still love their cave homes

A CHILEAN photographer has spent a fortnight in Andalucía, documenting hundreds of incredible cave-dwellers, and their fascinating homes.

As part of her project, Tamara Merino captured the astonishing cave sanctuaries and their residents in the Granada areas of Gaudix and Sacromonte in Granada.

Tamara told the National Geographic magazine: “The most important thing for me was not to have any preconceptions. I like to sit with people and hear their stories, and I share my life with them as well.”
Gaudix houses around 2,000 underground dwellings, where residents still live an agricultural life, just as their forefathers did, five centuries ago. “And they still live with the animals inside the caves,” added the photographer.

Tocuato Lopez and his family have lived in the Gaudix caves for four generations, and, he said: “They offer shelter from the unbearable summer heat, while providing a sense of deep-rooted community.

“I’m very proud of being from the cave, and still living in the cave… and I will die in the cave!”

Sacromonte, which sits across from the iconic Alhambra in Granada, is mainly occupied by illegal squatters. So, no great history there!

Yet the lower sector is mostly home to legal residents, drawn to cave life for environmental and cultural reasons.

Many members of the community, such as Henrique Amaya, continue to reside in the caves as a way of honouring their Romani culture.

“I was born inside a cave with the animals and the beasts,” said Amaya, whose family have lived in the Sacromonte caves for six generations.

And his ancestors devised the original Zambra flamenco, first performed in the caves more than 500 years ago.

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Posted by on Oct 5 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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