Oh, Snap! (kutsuwamushi) wrote in little_details,
Oh, Snap!

[ANON POST] Morisco culture in the 16th-17th centuries

Hi! I really need info on Morisco culture in sixteenth-century and seventeenth-century Spain, seventeenth-century Morocco and the seventeenth-century Republic of Salé

Settings: Morocco and/or Republic of Salé from 1631 to 1653; sugar plantation in 1650s Brazil; India and England ten to twenty years later.

Terms Searched: "Morisco/Moriscos"; "Maresco/Marescos"; "Spanish Muslims in 1600s"; "Spanish Muslims in the 17th century"; "Morocco in the 1600s"; "Spain in the 1600s"; "Morisco culture"; "Morisco culture in the 1600s"; "Morisco culture in 1600s Spain; "Morisco culture in 1600s Morocco"; "Spanish Muslim culture in the 1600s"; "Spanish Muslim culture in 1600s Spain"; "Spanish Muslim culture in 1600s Morocco"; "Spanish Muslim traditions"; "Spanish Muslim customs in 1600s Spain"; "Spanish Muslim customs in 1600s Morocco." I've also searched Wikipedia, and I've found a few scraps on Google Books, though not, I fear, enough.

Finally, I've looked in my state library system but have learned that nothing about any of these subjects is available in any library in my state.

Scenario: Okay. This is a fix-it fic. Here's the situation in canon:

In 1653, Character A is a boy of Spanish Muslim heritage whose ancestors converted to Catholicism, either nominally or in fact. (In the 1600s and 1700s, such people were called "Marescos"; now the word is "Morisco.") Character A has been enslaved by a North African pirate for most of his life. Character B is another slave of the North African pirate. Character A trusts Character B a great deal, to the point where the two escape from the pirate slaveowner together...but when they're found by a captain of a slave ship, Character B sells Character A to the captain, who offers to remit the slavery to ten years if Character A converts to Christianity.

I know that Character A is going to escape from this slavery as well, but I want him to have a strong sense of pride in himself, his people and his faith (which is strongly implied to be Muslim in canon). The problem is that I do not know anything about the customs, traditions, beliefs or culture of Spanish people of Muslim descent in Spain or in North Africa during this time period. I have learned about the Morisco language and alphabet (alfabeto aljamiado) and that "Moriscos produced books known as aljamiados, which written in Spanish using the Arabic alphabet and were used to instruct fellow Moriscos in Islam (http://www.omniglot.com/writing/aljamiado.htm)."

I have figured out some things:

* Like all adult Moriscos living in Spain at the time, Character A's grandfather was thrown out of Spain circa 1609 to 1614 (the year depends on what part of Spain he was living in) by royal decree because the king of Spain suspected ALL Spaniards of being double agents for the Turks of the Ottoman Empire.

* Most Moriscos went to Algeria, Tunisia or Morocco; a number went south of Morocco and founded the Republic of Salé.

* Given that Character A spent most of his life in the Republic of Salé, it's likely that his father was born either in Morocco or the Republic of Salé; Character A's father could not have been born in Spain, because Morisco children were not allowed to go into exile with their parents. They were considered innocents whose souls had to be saved by the Catholic church.

* As far as I can tell, the Republic of Salé's population was comprised largely of Moriscos and nearly 100% by pirates.

* Character A's age is not mentioned in canon, but judging by the illustrations, he would be about ten to twelve years old. As he's incredibly skilled at survival in his canon (he can navigate a small fishing vessel, track men and animals, and hunt and skin large beasts), i'm leaning toward making him twelve because it's marginally more plausible than ten.

Any information would be good, but info on food and drink, clothing, religion/beliefs, traditions, customs, occupations and oppression would be particularly helpful in making Character A more real.
Tags: 1600-1699, africa (misc), morocco: history, spain: history

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