|The figure, Katximorro (left), is a key figure in the
celebration of San Juan in Laguardia, Araba. He is responsible for maintaining
order as dancers move through the crowds, but he also teases onlookers and frightens
children by swinging a rabbit skin stuffed with straw, sometimes hitting them.
In the past the Katximorro wore a mask, but this is no longer part of the
tradition as it is practiced in Laguardia today.
Dancers clothed in white costumes (with red-trimmed ruffles at the edges
of the boys' and pink-trimmed on the girls'), dance in two lines in honor of Our Lady of
Pilar and Saint John. After making their way through the streets, the dancers
finally enter the church, still dancing, followed by the townspeople.
According to legend, Doña Blanca of Nafarroa gave the village of
Laguardia its own flag following the Battle of the Navas de Tolosa. The
inhabitants were overjoyed and went dancing in procession to the local parish where they
offered it to Our Lady of Pilar (Arizmendi 1976:433-437).