Moura Floripes

This is the story of Floripes the Moor, said Moura Floripes.

The Moor Floripes

The Moor Floripes

On the site of “Moinho do Sobrado”, a water mill, which was located on the banks of Olhão, in the Algarve, there was once a house where a beautiful woman appeared one night, all dressed in white.

In those days, the only one who dared to walk in these secluded places at night was a middle-aged man named Zé. One evening when he was drunk on his way home, he fell asleep near the mill, without any fear.

The woman dressed all in white approached the man, stroked his face and sat down next to him.

Zé told his story without convincing anyone to come to the mill to prove that he was telling the truth. However, Zé had a younger friend who was getting married soon. Taking advantage of the event, Zé promised his friend to offer him his own land as a wedding gift, if he had the courage to accompany him to the scene in the hope of seeing the apparition of the woman dressed in white again. .

Transfixed with fear, the young man, named Julião (Jullien) nevertheless set off on an adventure, strongly imagining what he would do with his wonderful wedding gift

The young man sat on a rock, next to the Sobrado mill, and waited for the twelve strokes of the midnight bells as indicated by Zé. At that moment, a woman appeared from the mill door, dressed all the way to her feet in white. Her dress ended in a ragged hem, barely covering her bare feet. The woman with her face wrapped in a veil and a flower in her blond hair approached him.

Julião, Zé's friend, asked her who she was and where she came from.

“I am the miserable Floripes,” she replied, sadly.
- What are you doing here ?
– I am the enchanted Moorish woman. (A moura encantada) When my people were expelled from this province, my father was forced to flee without any possibility of taking me with him. My lover also quickly fled, and I was left alone. Since then, I have been waiting every moment for my father to come and pick me up. One night, while I was waiting, I saw the light of a boat in the distance.

“It was a stormy night and the boat ran aground against the cliffs. It wasn't my father coming to look for me: it was my boyfriend, who was "swallowed" by the waves. My father learned of this event, and seeing that he was not able to come and get me, he “enchanted” me to protect me. »

Julião, saddened by this story, immediately thought of sacrificing himself to save the beautiful Moorish woman and asked:
– Is there any possibility of saving you?
– Yes, it’s possible, replied the Moor.
– In what way?

“It is necessary for a young man to embrace me, at the edge of a river, and make a “cut” on my arm at the level of my heart. The moment this is done, I will go straight to my parents. But there is a difficulty.
– What difficulty? Julião asked, already ready to be his liberator.
– The man who hugs me and “hurts” me will have to accompany me to Africa, he will have to cross the ocean with two lit candles without them going out and marry me on arrival…

“But, I couldn’t do it!” I am already committed to marrying my little Aninhas. »
“Then I will stay here with my enchantment,” she replied, sobbing, because until now, no one has dared to make such sacrifices!

The Moorish woman remained in her enchantment for a long time, sitting on the pier with her feet in the water, waiting for her father to return from Africa to look for her. Sometimes she was seen near the watermill, always at night, chatting with a young boy with big eyes and a red hat...

Could it be a young Moorish boy who was also enchanted at this place? No one could answer...

Some older “Olhanenses” believed so much in this legend that they said of Floripes that she appeared during the day, in town, where she always paid for her purchases with a gold coin and disappeared without waiting for her change.

Even today, when someone does not take their change when making a purchase, they are told “You are like Floripes, you don’t want your change!” »

The Moorish Floripes was also the incarnation of the fear of the transcendent. When a person speaks of the afterlife with fear, or arrogance. He is often told: “Be careful, you might meet Floripes!” »

Dr. José Barbosa tells in his book (Barbosa, 1993) this curious story, occurring during the First World War: in a trench in Flanders defended by Portuguese soldiers, one winter night, two “Olhanenses” (soldiers from Olhao) who were on sentry saw emerge from the snow an entirely white silhouette of a woman.

Their fear of seeing the Moorish Floripes paralyzed them for a moment, preventing them from pulling the trigger! This was the necessary and sufficient time to understand that the figure in front of them was not an enemy soldier. And this is how the Moorish Floripes saved the life of a young Belgian woman who was fleeing to escape the Germans!

Perhaps this rescue finally lifted Floripes' enchantment?

Because since then, the Moorish Floripes has ceased to appear….
Did she finally return to her land?