Objects of Museo Fallero de València
Grandmother and Granddaughter (1934)
Gender and attire
Family and kinship
The piece shows the trepidation with which the men of the time viewed the social and vocational emancipation that women were beginning to enjoy as a result of the liberal and tolerant climate of the Second Republic. It also represents the influence of American cinema, which conveyed myths, stereotypes and behavioural models that were contributing to undermine tradition and reverse gender roles. The group expresses very typical stereotypes of a certain Fallas worldview expressed in the recurring criticism of modernism in all of its facets, and in particular of the assimilation of new gender roles and the advancing adoption of new-found visibility, empowerment and progress for women in an entrenched patriarchal society. The reference to the traditional family serves to reinforce the discourse perpetuating the subordinate role of women in a society in transformation.
Illegal Peanut Vendor (1943)
Gender and attire
Gender and social class
The piece represents the link between poor women (gender and social class) and illegal activity, and a socially fragile climate (hunger, widespread restrictions, rationing, black market) that illustrates the weakness and severity of the social conditions of many women who had to find their means of sustenance on the fringes of the law. The woman is a street vendor exposed to the elements, with the problems typical of her age and uncertain situation. She is also a testimony of the fragile and marginal working conditions of many women during post-war Spain, propelled by the conditions of poverty to take on precarious work. The peanut vendor represents the convergence of a three-pronged subordination: the subordination of women to men; the subjection in society of a poor person with an unstable, working-class job; and her situation as a possible lawbreaker in opposition to the authority in a repressive Francoist context.
Prehistoric couple (1957)
Gender and body
The scene is a cultural critique reflecting a manifest anti-feminist sentiment. It stands in clear opposition to the progressive equality of women and men, particularly at a moment in which women’s equality was moving forward, as it did during the 1930s. The figure shows what life was supposedly like, in opposition to the dangerous progress of the present, which questioned patriarchal domination. The formula depicted by this scene and reflected by the indultat group uses humour to situate historical and recurring male violence towards women on the same level as the fact that women “forced” men to marry them. The majority of Fallas that historically represented matrimony show the woman as the primary negative element, arranging marriage to “trap” the man, preventing him from escape.