Ornaments on a Mallorcan bagpipes or 'xeremias'
two seated bagpipers from the Cantigas Miniatures
medieval illustration of two bagpipers
a bagpipe from the Cántigas Miniatures

The xeremias and more on their history II

On the basis of its name, believed to be a corruption of the Catalan sac de gemecs, the xeremias may have arrived in Mallorca on the conquest of the Island by Jaume I of Aragon and the expulsion of the Moors. Other scholars, however, are of the opinion that, in view of the importance and popularity of the instrument in the Islamic world in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, it is even more likely that the instrument was already present in the Island.

The Mallorcan bagpipe or xeremias bag was originally made from skin —of a goat or lamb. The procedure is not a simple one and fabric has totally superseded it.
The chanter and drones are often made from almond wood. Local tradition in Mallorca has it that in order for the wood for the chanters and drones to last well and not rot easily, it must be cut by the light of the old moon in February from a deciduous tree, and under a new moon in November if from an evergreen.

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