As dúas Marías

Parque de la Alameda
  • as marias

Maruxa, Coralia, Sarita, Manuel, Alfonso, Antonio etc. They were thirteen sons and daughters that Arturo Fandiño and Consuelo Ricart had in Compostela. Arturo and Consuelo were both craftspeople, which was a very frequent profession in the Santiago of the beginning of the 20th century. He was a shoemaker and his workshop was located in 32, Algalia de Arriba. She was a seamstress and an embroiderer and her sewing workshop was in her own home in the street Espíritu Santo. Her daughters learned and practiced the same profession as well.

Their brothers Manuel, Antonio and Alfonso were noted heads and leaders of the CNT (National Confederation of Labour), organisation which moved its regional headquarter to Santiago in 1925 and which general secretary was the painter Manuel Fandiño. During their youth, they lived surrounded by the vibrant and hopeful atmosphere that Santiago had at that time: when the Fandiño sisters went out to take a walk dressed with home-made clothes made of colourful, cheerful and vivid fabrics, just like them, the galicianist and republican students called them “freedom, equality and fraternity” and the right-wing students of the CEDA called them “faith, hope and charity”. But this revolutionary dream ended in bloodshed on July 18th 1936. The military revolt of General Franco and the fierce repression arrived to the Fandiño Ricart’s family.

They called them “red” and treated them as they were “whores”. They had no work to support their economy and dignity; they dealt with hunger every day since then. They continued living in rúa do Medio during the Compostela of the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s where there was only darkness, fear and silence, lots of silence. The fatal and inquisitor triangle formed by the Spanish Falange, Church and Army during the victorious Francoism after the Spanish Civil War destroyed its fragility and their head broke as if they were made of glass.

Encarna Otero

Over the years, the story of the Fandiño sisters was forgotten, until César Lombera himself achieved to convince in 1994 Santiago’s former mayor, Xerardo Estévez, after spending nine years suggesting the Local Government to built a sculpture in memory of the sisters. This sculpture was built by César Lombera himself and it consisted of a realistic and multi-coloured representation of both women during their famous walks based on the most famous picture of the two sisters with Maruxa on the right side outreaching her arm, and Coralia holding an umbrella. The piece of art placed in the Alameda Park, where it remains nowadays. Since then the sculpture became one of the best known in the city, because it arises visitor’s curiosity and it serves as a meeting point for Compostela’s citizens. It is also frequently used as the starting point in demonstrations.