Dress for the Moma

Gender stereotypes: subject of history / allegory

Gender and clothing

Valencia’s Corpus Christi procession features the Momos, symbols of sin, and in contrast, the Moma, symbol of virtue, responsible for filling the human spirit with divine light. It is odd that the person who dons the gown of the Moma is a man, although he wears a woman’s clothing on the outside. There may be two explanations for this fact. The first is that the dance of the Moma and the Momos follows the pattern of a war dance, in which a struggle is performed, traditionally carried out by men. The second is the limited presence of women, considered sinful beings by the Church, in religious festivities beginning in the medieval period. Their traditional sphere was the home in their role as wife and mother, rather than public occasions.