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Ibiza traditions

Each and every village on the island is named after a saint. Most of these are quiet, laid-back places, but they pull out all the stops to honor their patron saint when his or her feast day comes round. Traditional ways are observed in making the ball pagès, the traditional peasants' dance of Ibiza and Formentera, the centerpiece of their festivities.

We venture to suggest that anyone who has never witnessed the spectacle will marvel at the vitality of these ancestral traditions and the echoes of oriental movements and gestures evoked by the dancers. For the visitor whose stay does not coincide with one of these fiestas, it will not be difficult to catch an exhibition of dancing; Ibizan folk dancing is popular with hundreds of people, in part as one way of preserving the island's identity.

For further examples of traditional arts and craftwork, check out the Santa Eulària Ethnological Museum. on the Puig de Missa, above the town, which is worth a visit in its own right. Traditional style jewellery (such as is worn with great flair by female dancers) or pottery is available in shops. Right alongside the traditional crafts going back deep into the past, modern Ibizan handicrafts are also flourishing. Fashion leather goods, ceramics, costume and jewellery, and much more abound and craftspeople hold a fair twice yearly in Ibiza town, at Easter and in the autumn. For anyone with a particular interest in ceramics, we strongly suggest a side-trip to Sant Rafel, where many masters and craftsmen have set up their workshops.

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