Tuesday 17 December 2013

NO8DO - The Skein of Wool That Means She Has Not Abandoned Me * Not Forgetting Christopher Colombus


Seville is a wonderful place to visit - sunny, warm hearted, full of good cheer, beautiful parks, buildings and friendly people. And just so I don't forget, I'll mention Christopher Columbus first. His tomb in the Santa Maria Cathedral in Seville is extraordinary. His body is borne aloft in a casket by four nobles. I was particularly interested in the figure nearest us, bearing the arms of Leon, the hem of whose emulated embroidery robes are decorated with gorgeous plump, round pomegranates. Although he left for a life at sea when aged just 10, his family were weavers and it is likely young Christopher spent his early years helping his father, perhaps throwing the shuttle.

Seville is a wonderful place to be for the winter holiday festivities - Christmas lights amongst the oranges in the trees! I digress...what about NO8DO? Well, that is a knotty problem, one might say. Everywhere I turned I saw this strange device - NO8DO - it was on all municipal buildings, somewhere. At first I thought it was a clever pun on knot since nodo means knot and what lies between the NO and the DO is a knot of sorts. But no, it was Richard who found out the real meaning. And it is a rebus, not a pun. The 8 represents a skein of wool, in Spanish - Madeja. So the device is to be read No Madeja Do which sounds like: No me ha dejado meaning: She has not abandoned me. Some believe this refers to the city's support for King Alphonse X in the war with his son Don Sancho in the 13th century. Others say this refers to Ferdinand III who uttered the words upon entering the city and freeing it from Moorish rule in 1248. What a yarn!

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful nugget. I love Seville. I think it is one of the prettiest cities in the world.