Mudejar Feuding and Social Structure
A discussion of Mudejar acculturation and religious conversion has served to clarify certain aspects of Muslim-Christian interaction and its impact on the minority culture. It has, however, revealed little about the Mudejar subsociety itself when it did not somehow mesh with the public life of the Christian kingdom. Posing a dichotomy between Valencia's Muslim and Christian societies may appear somewhat artificial, since both groups, after all, lived and labored together in the same kingdom. But occupying the same physical space does not necessitate the rigid conformity of all inhabitants to one all-encompassing social system with its prescribed modes of behavior. Even when dwelling in urban morerías amid large concentrations of Christian population, the Mudejars were enmeshed in distinct networks of social relations articulated in accordance with the moral and material demands of their families.
As to the precise nature of Mudejar social structure, the documentation affords us only precious glimpses. Of course, the Christian bureaucrats had little intrinsic interest in the internal life of the king's Muslim communities. What they have left are details that for them were incidental to their fiscal and administrative concerns, bits and pieces that in the aggregate form a coherent, albeit by no means complete, picture.
An exploration of the royal records for patterns of Mudejar behavior and the social structures underlying them reveals a high incidence of intracommunal violence, greatly exceeding the occurrence of violent conflict between Muslims and Christians (although probably not that between Christians). The discovery of 120 Crown-sponsored truces between antagonistic Mudejar families, not to mention the large number of assaults and murders, suggests that the family feud occupied a central place in Mudejar social life. The Mudejars' internecine violence indi-
cates that their subsociety was still vital, and represents their channeling of energy inward into prescribed forms of behavior and association that had social meaning for them alone. In order to comprehend the origins of such feuding and the historical significance of this phenomenon, it will be necessary first to discuss the Berber and Arab settlement of the Valencian region and its structural implications, and then to describe the structure of the Arabo-Berber family, particularly its Mudejar variant.
Historians differ as to the precise chronology and nature of the Muslim settlement of the Valencian region (Sharq al-Andalus ). Guichard argues in favor of an early (eighth through ninth century) Berberization of the area, but noting that from the eleventh century onward the Berbers were so Arabized that they pretended an affiliation to prestigious Arab tribes, conveniently forgetting their Berber origins. Barceló Torres disputes Guichard's use of toponyms as evidence for early Berber settlement, suggesting that these Berber place names originated in later waves of Berber immigration under al-Hakam[*] II (961–976) and al-Mansur[*] (978–1002), or perhaps during the conquests of the Almoravids and the Almohads. Míkel de Epalza has made important contributions regarding the religious status of Valencia's indigenous population following the Muslim conquest. Taking account of new evidence showing only a limited Christianization of pre-Islamic Valencia, he proposes a rapid mass conversion to Islam (in contrast to Bulliet's model of a more gradual conversion), a trend that was intensified in the tenth and eleventh centuries with a Cordoban-controlled campaign of politicoreligious indoctrination intended to stave off a Fatimid Shic i[*] threat to Sunni[*] al-Andalus. The result was that the Sharq al-Andalus became perhaps the most highly Islamized and Arabized region in the peninsula. From the above it may be said that on the eve of the Christian conquest the Valencian region was Islamized and Arabized with a greater or lesser portion of the population being possessed of Berber roots. Moreover, it is likely that the region was settled on a tribal pattern, in which individual villages were peopled by particular clans. For our purposes, whether these clans were Berber, Arab, or Arabized Berber is not important, inasmuch as Arabs and Berbers had and, indeed, still have, very similar forms of social organization.
The social and political consequences of Arab and Berber settlement, and of Islamization and Arabization have been set forth by Guichard. He convincingly repudiates the views of Sánchez Albornoz and like-minded historians who argue in favor of the assimilation of the Muslim conquerors to the social norms of the indigenous population. According to Guichard, not only did the religion and literate culture of the conquerors become predominant in al-Andalus, but Arabo-Berber tribal
structures prevailed as well. In terms of social organization, this meant that the Arabs and Berbers were members of agnatic, patrilineal groups in which endogamous marriage was preferred so as to maintain the cohesion, wealth, and power of the lineage. These agnatic groups were embedded in a segmentary social system characterized by the balanced opposition between the increasingly inclusive segments of elementary family, lineage, clan, and tribe. This system allowed for both atomization, when segments of equal size competed within the tribe or clan, and amalgamation, when the various segments of a tribe formed a unified front in opposition to an enemy tribe. Thus, tribal in-fighting, most notably between the confederations of Mudari[*] and Yemeni[*] Arabs, marked the political history of al-Andalus well into the tenth century. The intermarriage of Arabs and Berbers with women of the native population—the offspring would have been Muslims and full members of their father's lineage—and the clientage of muwalladun[*] , the descendants of converts to Islam, to particular tribes allowed for the retention of tribal structures.
By the eleventh century tribalism had played itself out as the dominant factor in the political life of al-Andalus. In addition to the political centralization and pacification achieved by c Abd al-Rahman[*] III, Guichard emphasizes the processes of sedentarization and urbanization, which hindered segmentation, the dynamic of tribal organization. David Wasserstein argues that an "Andalusian identity" had supplanted tribalism, any politically significant elements of which were destroyed by the military reforms of al-Mansur[*] , which had dissolved the tribally based jund units. Glick suggests an additional factor—the explosion of conversion to Islam in the midtenth century (according to the Bulliet model) saw the Arabs and Berbers being numerically swamped by neo-Muslims for whom tribal issues were not a major concern. However, if Epalza's thesis of an earlier and more intense Islamization of the Valencian region is correct, it may be that Arabo-Berber structures had taken deeper roots there. This may explain the particular vitality of Arabo-Berber social structures among Valencia's Mudejars.
In any case, the decline of tribalism as a political force, or the dissolution of the tribal unit as a form of social organization, need not have resulted in the lapse of the more elementary segments of agnatic family and lineage as significant structures. In fact, among the Muslims of Nasrid Granada, and even among the Moriscos of postconquest Granada, agnatic solidarity (c asabiyah[*] ) continued to be a potent social force.
It is one thing to remark on the survival of agnatic solidarity in an Islamic polity, or in a recently conquered one like Granada; it is quite another matter to assert that Arabo-Berber social attitudes and structures, at the level of family and lineage, remained largely intact in
Valencia some 250 years after the submission of that region to western Christian domination. The defeat and emigration of Muslim military elites in the thirteenth century had eliminated whatever political significance still remained to either the tribe or clan. Since the government was Christian and denied Muslims access to political power, it is difficult to see what sociopolitical role and aims even the smaller solidarities of family and lineage would have had. Furthermore, progressive Mudejar emigration to Granada or the Maghrib, coupled with the internal migration and fragmentation brought about by seigneurial alteration of rural settlement patterns, must have severely strained or severed the ties binding some Muslim lineages together, in effect, fostering a more radical segmentation.
Still, at the same time, the conquerors' granting of communal and legal autonomy to the Mudejars was probably conducive to the retention of preconquest structures, or at least to the alleviation of the pressures for fragmentation. As will be seen below, the various official posts of the corporate aljama, however much they were distortions of their Islamic antecedents, became sources of prestige and power within the Mudejar community, prizes over which rival families deemed it worthwhile to feud. Also, Maliki[*] law, according to which the Mudejars regulated their daily lives, seemed to justify the perpetuation of feuding relations by its provision for either retaliation or the payment of blood money (diyah ) in cases of homicide and assault.
Aside from the persisting legal and institutional supports for traditional patterns of social relations, it is important to emphasize the peculiar resilience and structural coherence of medieval Islamic society at its lower levels, despite the frequent and sometimes traumatic political upheavals in its upper reaches. In the Valencian case, this resilience derived from the ability of the larger solidarities of an Arabo-Berber society to segment without disturbing the primary social structures. Thus, if a family were broken up—say, through the emigration of one of two brothers to the Maghrib—the sons of the remaining brother could create a new agnatic solidarity composed of themselves, their father, and their own male children, even though their position would be weakened through the loss of their paternal uncle's support. In other words, so long as traditional attitudes were not eroded, preconquest structures could be perpetuated merely through biological reproduction. If 250 years seems an incredibly long time for such structures to have endured, it was also more than enough time for them to have reemerged and solidified. Since Mudejar political life was reduced to the confines of the local morería or village there was no impetus for the amalgamation of clans or tribes; family and lineage, however, remained important.
That lineage long continued to be a special concern of Valencian Muslims is evinced in the claims of a Morisco family in 1567 to have descended from al-Mansur[*] and Valencia's Muslim rulers.c Asabiyah[*] in Valencia was buttressed through the practice of endogamy, that is, through parallel cousin marriage with the daughter of the paternal uncle (bint al-c amm). The negotiations of the newly converted Moriscos with Carlos I in 1526 leave little doubt that this type of marriage had been the preferred one among the Mudejars:
inasmuch as among the Moors today there are many marriages concluded between close relations in a degree prohibited by the Christian law and permitted by the Moorish law, which law permits marriage to the degree of that between cousins-germane—the children of two brothers inclusive—should the said marriages begin to be disturbed, and to prohibit those marriages which could be made from today henceforth, would result in the greatest damage and disturbance among the said Moors.
The Moriscos then requested that Carlos intercede with the papal legate and persuade him to grant a dispensation for the endogamous marriages consummated before the mass conversions.
Our documentation is less useful on this matter. Normally, only the name (ism ) of the wife is given—as Fatima, wife of so and so—without ascription to her lineage (nisbah ). This was in keeping with the far greater importance given to patrilineal descent, whereby the offspring of the marriage pertained to the lineage of the father. Of course, in the instance of marriage with the bint al- c amm, the husband and wife would have the same nisbah . In a few rare cases the documentation shows unequivocally the marriage of parallel cousins. In Alcira, Fotoix bint (daughter of) Mahomat Xativi was the betrothed of Ali ibn (son of) Abrahim Xativi. Two cases from Aragon (where the practice of endogamy is all the more impressive, given the greater acculturation of Aragonese Mudejars) suggest that although the right of the male cousin to the hand of the bint al-c amm was recognized, the prospective brides were sometimes less than enthusiastic about their fate. For five years there was pending in the courts of the kingdom a decision on the litigation between a reluctant bride, Fatima bint Mahomat Margnan of Huesca, and her cousin, Ybraym ibn Mofferiz Margnan, concerning the marriage that Ybraym and his father "were claiming" to contract with her. Fatima bint Jayel de Gali of Zaragoza asked for a divorce from her cousin, Faraig ibn Juçe de Gali, on the grounds that he had maltreated her. Faraig maintained that his mother-in-law had put Fatima up to it and pleaded before the king that his wife be restored to him.
Questions of marital harmony aside, there were compelling reasons for the practice of endogamy. The marriage of paternal cousins en-
hanced the solidarity of the lineage by linking the interests of brothers and their children, and giving the bride's kin more control over the bridegroom. They could then present a more powerful front to rival lineages. Moreover, the reproductive power of the daughter was retained within the lineage; more children, particularly more sons, increased prestige, power, and economic potential. The economic angle was crucial. Since among the Mudejars daughters were able to inherit from their fathers, the exogamous marriage of a daughter implied the loss of property by her lineage. True, the groom had to render a specified bridewealth (sadaq[ *] , Catalan accidach ) to his intended, but, because that was paid to and retained by the bride, her family did not profit from it. In some instances wives left their husbands and took their bridewealth home with them, or when couples separated the wives demanded their bridewealth, but it is highly unlikely that families planned for such eventualities.
While endogamy was preferred, exogamous marriage was not at all unusual. Demography militated against every person being able to wed his or her cousin. More important, exogamy served to define relationships between various lineages. Marriage ties created a community of interest, mitigated conflict between families, and stabilized community life. That Mudejars regarded such affinal connections as determinants of conduct is demonstrated in the judicial appeal of Çaat Siquuti. The lieutenant bailiff of Játiva, with the counsel of the local qadi[*], Yuçeff Alçamba, had passed sentence against Çaat, which sentence was then upheld by the bailiff general, with the counsel of Mahomat Bellvis, the qadi general. Çaat complained that the final ruling had gone against him because the two qadi s "are joined by a certain affinity, that the son of the said qadi Bellvis had married the niece of the aforesaid Yuçeff Alçamba, daughter of Yahye Alçamba his brother." In another case, Mahomat Perpir, when he fled to the Maghrib in 1501, was recorded as having Abdalla Murçi and Yuçeff Zignell as brothers-in-law. In 1499 he had reached a truce with Azmet Murçi, a relation of Abdalla, and in 1500 had done the same with Yuçeff Zignell. It may be that affinal ties had helped to close the rift separating the Perpirs from the Murçis and the Zignells, or perhaps in the end they proved insufficient and Mahomat had reasons other than the fear of forced baptism for taking refuge in the Maghrib.
Since endogamous marriage was practiced, and the bonds between agnates thereby strengthened, it should follow that agnates acted jointly in the conduct of feuding relations. This is precisely the state of affairs encountered in the documentation. In a number of cases the perpetrators of violence were two or more agnates. Homaymat and Çuleymen Montani of Alacuás, with accomplices, shot and killed with a crossbow
another Muslim vassal of the seigneury. Ali Orfayçi and his brother Mahomat Çaffahi of Alcira burst into the house of Pedro Delgado and wounded Juçeff Bolaix with two lacerations. On different occasions Muslims of Valldigna were wounded by Mahomat and Abdalla Giber, and by Çat and Ali Bolarif. Mahomat Malich had the misfortune somehow to incur the wrath of Ali and Mahomat Guayna of Artesa. Clearly casabiyah[*] was crucial for providing the strength in numbers that allowed for such aggression.
At the same time, the readiness to resort to violence, combined with the support of sons, brothers, uncles, and cousins, tended to discourage the violent initiatives or retaliation of rivals. The threat posed by the enemy's group solidarity determined the very nature of much of the violence that occurred. Assault and murder were often committed under the cover of night; ambushes were laid and enemies attacked at unexpected moments; and victims were often alone and outnumbered by their assailants who struck in tandem with agnates or other—perhaps affinal—accomplices. We have mentioned elsewhere Juçeff Cabot of Játiva who returned to Valldigna, where, one evening, with henchmen, he did away with an enemy in his own home. Abdalla Çentido and Fuçey Ylel dispatched Azmet Gradano with a dagger-thrust to the throat as he was leaving his father's house in Mirambell. Mahomat Flori of Játiva was fined 110s, in lieu of eighty lashes, "because he had hidden in his house certain Moors [relatives] from Gandía and from the Vall d'Alfandech [Valldigna] for the purpose of killing Gabix, Moor of the said morería ." Mahomat Chiquet of Alcira even resorted to arson, attempting to burn down the house of the Arrayço family. Only rarely were attempts made on the lives of more than one member of a family at the same time, and in such cases the elements of surprise, darkness of night, and superiority in arms are apparent. The brothers Çahat and Amet Pachando were the victims of a ferocious nocturnal assault in Liria by Caet Natjar and Abraym Rabaça of Bétera. Natjar practically cut off Çahat's head with his sword, while Rabaça seriously wounded Amet with a poisoned crossbow dart.
As casabiyah[*] was predicated on the responsibility of each agnate to uphold the honor of his family, an attack on one member of the group demanded of the others reprisal against the offender or his agnates. Failure to fulfill this responsibility resulted in the family's loss of honor and in a decrease in its prestige and power in the community. Thus violence elicited a violent response, setting in motion a potentially endless sequence of aggressive acts characteristic of the feud.
The understanding of family members involved in feuds that violence would inevitably ensue and vengeance be exacted prompted Muslims of Oliva, Carlet, Játiva, the Vall de Uxó, and Valencia to apply for licenses
to bear arms for the purpose of self-defense against their "enemies." Yuçeff Albanne's application hinged on the presumption that because Abrahim Corumbell had already wounded his brother he was next in line.
A consideration of the feud between the Murçi and the Torralbi families of the morería of Valencia demonstrates the centrality of agnatic solidarity in the prosecution of a feud. We first encounter the brothers Azmet and Çahat Torralbi receiving from the bailiff general arms-bearing licenses (20 March 1503). Because Çahat had denounced Azmet Murçi before the bailiff's court (for a reason unknown to us), he believed he needed to be armed so that he would not be "damaged by the said Azmet Murçi or by another relative of his " (italics mine). Azmet Torralbi, sharing responsibility for his brother's legal actions, whether he liked it or not, felt equally threatened. Such was the expectation of Murçi vengeance that the Torralbis were licensed to bear arms not only for self-defense but also for the defense of "one other companion who will go in your company." Clearly, it was inadvisable for a man embroiled in a Mudejar feud to walk alone.
Less than three months later the Torralbis took the offensive and, putting his licensed arms to good use, Azmet Torralbi severely wounded Abrahim Murçi. The precise relation of Abrahim to Azmet Murçi is unknown, although it seems most likely that they were brothers. In any case, they had the same enemies. Both Abrahim and Azmet had concluded truces with Mahomat Perpir and Ali Perpir, and both had fallen out with even the same agnate, Ubaydal Murçi, perhaps their cousin. Abrahim had also made Azmet's dispute with the Torralbis his own. Nusa, Abrahim's wife, maintained that Azmet and Çahat Torralbi, and their father Abdalla, all bore a grudge against her husband for no reason, and that Çahat and Abdalla prompted Azmet and planned with him the attack on Abrahim. She also asserted that as early as the previous January (1503) Çahat Torralbi had shown much bravado toward her husband and an intention to kill him.
The testimonies of other witnesses contradicted some of Nusa's charges. First, it seems that Abrahim Murçi was not entirely blameless. Abrahim was said to have a "foul mouth," and many thought that "because of his tongue the said Azmet Torralbi has wounded him." Abrahim had indeed gone about stating that Azmet was a fool and deserved to be treated as such. Second, it seems that Çahat and Abdalla Torralbi had not urged on Azmet or planned the crime with him; rather, the attack was more of a spontaneous act on Azmet's part. In fact, Abdalla Torralbi had attempted to mollify his son's animosity toward Abrahim, urging Azmet to make peace with him. On the very day of the assault, Abdalla confronted Abrahim, demanding to know why he was
deliberately antagonizing his son. Abrahim retorted that he did not have to answer to Abdalla, then wheeled and strode off.
Abrahim's inability to hold his tongue proved calamitous, for when Azmet vented his wrath against him, he showed little mercy. Azmet slashed Abrahim about the head and arms with his sword, and, when Abrahim fled into the home of Gil Sanchiz, he followed him there and cut off his right foot. According to the painter Gabriel Gosalbo, it was his own intervention that prevented the affair from escalating into a bloodbath. With a lance he barred the way into Abdalla Torralbi's house against those (Abrahim's relatives, perhaps) who spoke of entering to slit the throats of Abdalla's daughters. Later, he met Çahat Torralbi and advised him to avoid the area of his father's house, lest he fall victim to Murçi revenge.
In another case, the brothers Ali and Azmet Thorruc of Millena killed Azmet Araye of Benilloba on account of some disagreement. Consequently, Azmet's brothers, Mahomat and Çahat Araye—their father was an eighty-year-old invalid—recruited some neighbors in Benilloba and proceeded to Millena, where they took their revenge, slaying Azmet Thorruc.
Açen Muça of Serra was similarly motivated by a desire to vindicate the murder of his half-brother Azmet Gradano ("jermans de mare," a blood tie not as strong as that between sons of the same father) by Abdalla Çentido. For four years he had restrained himself, but on Corpus Christi Day, 1491, he stabbed Abdalla to death as he sat watching the processions in Valencia. Earlier that day, Yuçeff Ada had asked Abdalla about the state of his relations with Açen Muça, and, upon learning that the two were still feuding, admonished Abdalla to be careful. The feud, then, seems to have been a matter of (Mudejar) public knowledge. This makes perfect sense, for the honor and status of a family rested on public evaluation and approval. This approval could best be attained through the display of solidarity and the willingness of the agnates to fulfill their responsibilities to the group, that is, through the family conducting itself properly in a feud.
A number of victimized Mudejar families, either too weak in numbers or too law-abiding to retaliate against their enemies in kind, or perhaps exceedingly confident in the efficacy of royal and seigneurial justice, beseeched their Christian overlords to mete out the punishment due for assault or homicide. The parents of the murdered Azmet Zichnel of Valldigna, "although they have the ability and it would be permitted to them to kill with impunity Juçef Cuyta, the killer," turned first to the criminal justice of Valldigna, a seigneury, and then, once Juçef had fled the valley, to the Crown "to have him fittingly punished and chastized through the measures and means of that [justice]."
It is due to this type of legal recourse to the Christian authorities that much of the information concerning Mudejar violence turns up in the documentation.
The records of the kingdom's fiscal auditor (Maestre Racional ) indicate that royal officials, and probably their seigneurial counterparts as well, acted as mediators between feuding Mudejar families. The result of a bailiff's intervention in a dispute appears in the records as the payment of a monetary settlement (composicio ) by the offending Muslim or his family to the bailiff. Of course, payment to the Christian official provided little compensation for the victim and his family. It is probably safe to assert, therefore, that either the bailiff and the victim divided the settlement or the victim received a separate settlement equal to that received by the bailiff, who, in either case, would have presided over the entire transaction. This conjecture is substantiated in some cases by scribal notations that state that the victim "admitted" or agreed to the settlement. In the eyes of the victim and his family, the settlement would have appeared a form of blood money releasing them from the obligation, although not necessarily from the desire, to retaliate violently.
A more effective means of maintaining the public peace was in the hands of the bailiff general, namely, the official "peace and truce," supposed to last for 101 years, or its permanent variant, the "final peace." Although many of these officially sponsored truces involved Muslims of the morería of Valencia, for keeping order was most difficult in the capital, many others bound Muslims from all over the kingdom. The truces highlight the importance of agnatic solidarity by emphasizing that each party swearing to abide by the truce was representing himself and his "relatives, friends, and defenders." In some cases entire families were present at the conclusion of the truce. Unfortunately, only in rare instances do the documents state the causes for the mutual hostility necessitating a formal truce. When given, the causes usually are acts of violence. The texts of the truces are written according to standard format, in which steep monetary fines are emphasized as the deterrent to any resumption of the feud.
For example, in a truce dated 31 March 1489 we find various members of the Capo family of Alcira, standing "for themselves, friends, relations, and defenders," and Abdalla Pollet, his son Mahomat, Azmet Biari, Çahat Biari and his son Caleth, and Çapdon Eça, all of the same morería, pledging "a good peace and truce between them, to last for 101 years, concerning whatever debates, quarrels, rumors, ill-will, and wounds that might have existed between them until the present day." By virtue of an oath sworn "with hands and with mouth" in the presence of Joan Aduart, royal constable and vicar of the bailiff general, "'to our
Lord God and to the qiblah of Muhammad' the face turned toward midday, according to the Sunnah and the Shariah of the Sarracens," both parties promised that "there will not be done nor caused to be done nor arranged nor attempted, neither openly nor secretly, neither directly nor indirectly, any evil or damage on the persons or goods of them [the other party]." For any violation of the truce, the Crown would penalize the offending family with a fine of 500 florins—100 florins to the injured party and 400 florins to the royal treasury.
It is not difficult to understand why the royal authorities expended such effort to curb the Mudejars' feuding propensities. The death of vassals, the destruction of property, and the disruption of economic activity, all of which resulted from feuding, had the most negative implications for the state of the royal treasury. Moreover, the control of social violence and the efficient administration of justice were essential components of the effective exercise of royal authority. Stated more simply, public order had to be maintained. Feuds not only affected individual families but also at times threatened to engulf entire morerías in tumultuous and bloody disorder. Three royal aljamas were seen to be tottering on the edge of such calamity. In Valencia, the feud between the Roget and the Bizquey families had become so serious that they and "their fathers and mothers" had to be banished from the morería . In Alcira, the bailiff believed the aforementioned truce between the Capo and Biari families to be necessary in order to "pacify the said morería and to put the [morería ] in repose." The bailiff general urged the bailiff of Castellón de la Plana to do something to resolve the conflict between the Bocayos and their rivals "for the benefit and repose of that morería, which today ... is on the road to destruction."
While official intervention prevented the growth of widespread violence within morerías, it is less certain that the truces between families always had their intended durability. Social anthropologies have observed in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern societies where the feud is a central element in social relations the ultimate inefficacy of truces and various forms of compensation as means of permanently extinguishing a feud. Rather, despite the fact that hostilities cease for varying lengths of time, feuds tend to be perpetual in nature. The Valencian evidence does not contradict these conclusions. Azmet Coxet of Paterna was to be apprehended "for breaking the peace and truce." Although Azmet Aixbir and Çaat Borrabe had concluded a truce, Azmet later seized the opportunity to attack Çaat. One also encounters the repetition of truces between the same families, such as the Murçis and the Perpirs, or the Bizqueys and the Rogets. Even if different members or combinations of members of the families appear in successive truces,
this hardly masks the fact of the continuing and potentially explosive state of animosity existing between them.
It should not be thought, however, that without the intervention of royal and seigneurial officials Mudejar society would have destroyed itself through unabated internecine violence. The Mudejars had their own mechanisms for achieving a cessation of hostilities, a state of affairs necessary if routine social and economic life were to continue.
A settlement arrived at through the efforts of Muslim jurists preceded some of the truces established through the office of the bailiff general. When the powerful Paziar family of Alcira and the Getdi family of Picasent concluded an official "peace and truce" after the killing of Abdalla Getdi, the Paziars came with a "carta morischa (Arabic letter) received from Ali Bellvis, son of Mahomat Bellvis, qadi[ *] of the lord king," while the Getdis had an Arabic letter from their local faqih[*] . In other cases Muslims abandoned legal initiatives against enemies, having come to an understanding with them by their own methods and for their own reasons.
In the feud between the Araye and Thorruc families, rather than pursuing the prosecution of Mahomat and Çahat Araye in the governor's court, the Thorrucs dropped the charges against them, after having "established peace with all [their] adversaries." It may be inferred that the Thorrucs realized that the capital punishment of the Araye brothers, even if executed through proper legal procedure, would have served only to provoke the perpetration of retaliatory violence by the Araye and their friends in Benilloba. Each family had already lost a son; with the score even, an uneasy truce seemed wiser than more killing and the disruption of the activities of those still alive. When the wife of the murdered Ali Dabbau, his sister, and the guardian of his children, Azmet Pulpul (apparently not an agnate of Ali), dropped charges against the killer, Çaat Melich, the reasons for their doing so were even more pressing than those motivating the Thorrucs. Here, the surviving members of the victim's family, two women and young children, were incapable of either exacting revenge themselves or defending themselves against later retaliation should they press prosecution through the bailiff's court. This evidence suggests that what moved Mudejars to accept compensation or blood money instead of physical retribution, or to make peace with the enemy, however temporary that peace might be, was not so much the threat of censure by the Christian authorities as the fear of triggering further violence, of reactivating the feud in its most destructive form. In other words, the most effective deterrent to feuding was the feud itself. Rival families eyed each other warily and exercised restraint, committing violent acts sporadically in an
often calculated manner. It was to no one's interest to give violence free rein.
The plethora of official truces between rival Mudejar families, the numerous acts of violence in which agnates were implicated, and the importance of vengeance as a motive for such violence all indicate that the feud was so pervasive as to constitute a primary determinant of Mudejar social relations. Jacob Black-Michaud, whose conclusions are based on the studies of various Mediterranean and Middle Eastern feuding societies, goes so far as to state that "feud can be regarded as a social system per se." While it is not our intention to discuss the validity of this conclusion, nor, for that matter, to attempt to fit Mudejar feuding within the framework of an anthropological model, it is crucial to emphasize a viewpoint on which most observers of feuding societies would seem to agree, namely, that feuding is better viewed as a social process than as a social aberration. If this is the case, then there must have been something other than the necessity to respond to a previous act of violence behind much of the Mudejar violence we have observed, a stake, or stakes, worth the risk of initiating a feud. These stakes were wealth and power. Among Mudejar farmers and artisans wealth was attained through the acquisition of land and through the control of a limited market for manufactured goods. Power, or local influence, rested on the prestige and status afforded by the possession of wealth and by the defeat of rivals in the competition for it. The agnates who constituted the feuding group also functioned as an economic unit, holding land jointly and practicing the same crafts, so that mutual material concerns strengthened agnatic solidarity. Mudejar feuding, then, may be interpreted as a consequence of the competition for material wealth and local status, and as a process determining the allocation of these scarce commodities, thereby stratifying individual communities.
The official truces, which sometimes indicate the professions of the subscribing parties, strongly suggest that economic competition was at the root of much Mudejar discord. In a number of cases both of the feuding parties were practitioners of the same craft, producing for the same limited market. Conflict occurred between Muslim blacksmiths, shieldmakers, and shoemakers in Valencia, between Muslim fishermen in Oliva, and between hemp sandalmakers in the Vall de Uxó. The competition seems to have been most intense among Valencia's Mudejar shoemakers. The feuding Bizquey and Roget families, whom the authorities had to expel from the morería, both practiced shoemaking. The Bizqueys also concluded truces with other enemy shoemakers, namely, Çatdon Caeli, the brothers Abrahim and Çalema Cabero, Çilim Maymo, and Çahat Perpir with his nephews Ali and Mahomat Perpir. The Perpirs themselves clashed with shoemakers other than
the Bizqueys: Çahat Carcaix, Azmet Murçi, Ali Maguarell, and Çaat Abducarim. In the feud which resulted in the wounding of Abrahim Murci, a shieldmaker, by Azmet Torralbi, a shoemaker, it is interesting that the Torralbis seem to have first come into conflict, not with Abrahim, but with Azmet Murçi, a shoemaker (see above).
However, in many other feuds the parties were not of the same profession, in which cases one cannot delineate so precisely the clash of competing economic interests. The ties and common interests created through exogamous marriage or simple friendship complicated intracommunal relations considerably, so that families came into conflict who, had they been guided by economic concerns alone, otherwise might not have. Thus, one encounters truces like the one concluded between the shoemakers Ali Perpir of Valencia and Azmet Naixe of Mislata, on one side, and Ali Maguarell and Çaat Abducarim, shoemakers, and Azmet Claret, a linen salesman, all of Valencia, on the other side. The documentation does not reveal what, other than shoemaking, brought together Perpir and Naixe, Muslims from different families and locales, or why a linen salesman was involved in the feud at all.
The frequent and varied business transactions between Mudejars of all walks of life, and matters associated with the complex pattern of land tenure, in which Muslim artisans also were concerned, provided ample opportunity for the sparking of controversy and mutual hostility. For instance, Çale Magarell had Çaat Feçi imprisoned for money Çaat owed him for the purchase of a donkey. In Játiva, Yuçeff Redona complained that Azmet Beniale had planted mulberry trees on his land and demanded that they be uprooted. Muslims of Valldigna went to court over the alleged sale of cloth, while Muslims of Alcira disputed the ownership of goats.
Material interests fueled the fires of dissension even within families. For instance, Ali Gehini, a wealthy amin[*] of la Foyeta, was so afraid of being robbed by his own sons, disreputable characters who frequented taverns, that he hid his money in the walls of his house. Mahomat Negral had the justice of Valldigna sell his brother Abducalem's mule for debts Abducalem owed him on account of the justice's earlier sale of Mahomat's field for debts that had really been Abducalem's. Unfortunately, because most Mudejar civil litigation was handled in Islamic courts, the records of which do not survive, our information on Mudejar disputes over land or other commodities is extremely limited. Consequently, direct correlations cannot be made between such disputes and the occurrence of violence and feuding. Considering the extent of feuding between Muslims of the same profession reflected in the truces and the few instances of Mudejar property litigation encountered, it can be
cautiously postulated that much of Mudejar feuding had its roots in conflicting economic interests.
The feuding that threatened to destroy the morería of Castellón de la Plana was the violent manifestation of a struggle for political power. The struggle centered on the control of the two posts of adelantat and pitted Abdulazis and his son Yuçeff Bocayo against a faction headed by Çale Arroçen and Ubequer Faraig, which also included Caet Fando, Yuçeff Salio, Ali Gordo, and Ali Gerret. Shortly before 19 April 1487 the Bocayos informed the bailiff general of a fight that had broken out between Yuçeff Bocayo and Ali Gerret. Within weeks matters took a more serious turn: two Christians and some unidentified Muslims entered the Bocayos' home and wounded Yuçeff in the arm and hand, cutting off his finger. Investigation revealed that this was not random violence, but that the two Christian assailants had been hired by Çale Arroçen and Ubequer Faraig to do the dirty work. At this point the bailiff general had Ali Bellvis, the qadi[*] general, intervene. Bellvis managed to persuade the Bocayos and their rivals to agree to a power-sharing arrangement. According to this arrangement, the ten councillors of the aljama, among whom were members of both feuding factions, and the adelantats from the previous year would elect the amin[*] and the two adelantats . Most important, it was stipulated that "in any year either Ubequer Faraig or Çale Arroçen is elected as jurate [adelantat ] that in such case let there be elected as jurate one of the said Bocayos, either the father or the son." That the two posts of adelantat were so hotly contested was probably due to the adelantats ' function as advisors to the amin in the apportionment and collection of taxes. This is suggested by the fact that Ali Bellvis also inspected the aljama's account books to ensure that the amin had justly confiscated certain goods of the Bocayos and Yuçeff Pollina, presumably for reason of unpaid taxes. The Bocayos, then, had a clear material interest in being elected as one of the adelantats . Eventually (August 1488), the authorities established a formal truce between the two factions; however, by 1492 Yuçeff Bocayo was again complaining about wounds inflicted by his former antagonists (it is not clear that these were new wounds). There is no further evidence indicating that the feuds in other Mudejar communities were similarly motivated, and the aljama of Castellón, in which the office of amin changed hands annually, may well have been more politically unstable. Still, given that all the communities had more or less the same political structure with officials executing the same functions, it may not be too far-fetched to infer a more general phenomenon of feuding as being in part a contest for local political power, the exercise of which could influence individual rates of taxation. Even families secure in their possession of official posts, like the Paziars, the amin s of
Alcira, were involved in feuding, which suggests that the holding of office was not the sole basis of power among the Mudejars.
Intimately linked to the competition for economic and political power as a source of feuding was a punctilious concern for honor. The Mudejar conception of honor differed somewhat from that of western Christians. For the latter, honor was attached to social rank and varied according to the possession of wealth and title. For the Mudejars, honor had the same significance at all socioeconomic levels and was the possession of the family, to be augmented or lost. This may help to explain the apparently unusual phenomenon of Mudejar shoemakers and the like fighting over points of honor.
As suggested above, family honor could be maintained and increased only through the agnates' fulfillment of their responsibilities to each other. Inasmuch as the family constituted an economic unit jockeying for its share of wealth and influence in the community, its performance in that contest reflected on its honor. However, a family without honor was by virtue of its loss of face excluded from participation in that same contest. Honor, then, was a prerequisite for the attainment of status and power in the community. Because in economic terms Mudejar society was relatively homogenous, being composed largely of small farmers and artisans and lacking an established aristocracy, the possession of honor, achieved through a family's action in accordance with the dictates of agnatic solidarity, was probably as great a determinant of local status as real wealth.
This helps to explain why so much of the violence committed by Mudejars seems to have been in defense of family or personal honor. Although economic competition might have inspired the incidents leading families or individuals to believe that their honor had been somehow sullied, it was not considered to have been in itself a sufficient cause for violence. Questions of purely economic concern were settled licitly in court; questions of honor were settled extralegally in the forum of the community. Of course, the settlement of a question of honor through violence to some extent also resolved the economic question, inasmuch as the competition was then either temporarily or permanently eliminated. Thus, in the feud between the Torralbis and the Murçis, which seems to have originated in the clash between shoemakers—Azmet Murçi against Azmet and Çahat Torralbi—Azmet Torralbi inflicted violence on Abrahim Murqi, a shieldmaker, because Abrahim had ridiculed him and thereby stained his honor. It is worth recalling that many in the morería recognized that Abrahim had incurred Azmet's wrath because of his loose tongue.
Another incident involving Muslims of Bétera shows the Mudejars' extreme sensitivity where their honor was concerned. Ubaydal Allepus
and his convert brother Miguel Crestia went to a hamlet near Bétera where they intended to mow grass with a sickle that a Christian hosteler had given them. There, a Muslim named Raboça accused the two brothers of having stolen the sickle from him. Apparently, Ubaydal and Miguel felt they had been defamed and their honor challenged, for they immediately tried to strike Raboça. Raboça then called for his brother-in-law, Amet Biari, at which point a brawl ensued that resulted in Amet's death. Although Ubaydal denied any previous acquaintance with Amet Biari, the latter's widow claimed that Ubaydal had harbored ill will against her husband. Perhaps Ubaydal's spontaneous violence in defense of his honor was the culmination of a long-standing controversy with Biari's family.
Because honor was essentially a social value, the possession of which depended on the community's evaluation of the conduct of an individual and his family, acts that entailed a challenge to or a defense of honor had a meaning recognized and understood by the entire community. Violence begot violence because social norms demanded that vengeance be exacted if honor was to be maintained. Thus, in the aforementioned stabbing of Abdalla Çentido by Açen Muça, Abdalla's friends expected that Açen would be seeking revenge. Açen, it seems, was a somewhat reluctant avenger, but he felt compelled to act when Abdalla passed by him in the street three times making insulting gestures and faces calculated to shame him publicly.
If the childrearing methods of Axa, the wife of Abdalla Murçi, are any indication of a widespread phenomenon, then Mudejar children were from an early age socialized in the ways of violent initiative and riposte in the pursuit of honor. When her nine-year-old son came home weeping after having been hit by the son of Alfona, Axa deemed that he had been shamed. She upbraided the boy for not striking back, and she demanded retaliation: "Look, when he [the son of Alfona] passes, hit him with a rock." If this were not enough, she even nagged at her husband and servant: "If you do not strike either the husband or the wife [the Alfonas] I will not consider you men. If you do not do it, go to the devil!"
A consideration of the position of women in Mudejar society confirms the continued importance of Arabo-Berber attitudes and social structures. To some extent women were pawns manipulated by their male relatives in the politics of marital alliance. Ideally, a woman was kept within the lineage through endogamous marriage, so that her lineage benefited from her reproductive power. However, if exogamous marriage were unavoidable, it was better and more honorable to receive than to give a woman in marriage. Families that had to give away their daughters in marriage did so to those families with whom alliance would
prove most useful in the local scheme of feuding relations. Although the woman in an exogamous marriage lived with her husband's lineage, she still maintained important connections with her father's family. In fact, her behavior, particularly her sexual conduct, affected the honor of her father's family, not that of her husband. This ambivalent position of the woman, bearing children for her husband's family while being responsible for the honor of her father's family, is reflected in a number of ways in the documentation.
First, because the children of a marriage belonged to the husband's family, Mudejar widows lost custody of their children, who were given into the hands of male guardians, presumably the agnates of the deceased husbands. The strategy here was to ensure that the children, along with the inheritances their fathers had bequeathed to them, continued to adhere to the father's family when their mother remarried. This explains why Fotayma resided in Sot with her new husband, Amet Albaytar, while her daughter Axa lived with two guardians in Cuart, the home of her deceased husband. Apparently, the only way a widow could continue to play a significant role in the lives of her children was either not to remarry, or to do so only to a man of the same town.
The wife's continued close ties with her father's family divided her allegiance and seem to have contributed to the instability of some exogamous marriages. This is indicated by the fact that when a Mudejar wife separated from her husband she usually returned to the home of her father. When Suçey, the wife of Abrahim Çuleymen of the morería of Valencia, went to her father's home in Petrés to attend her brother's wedding, she never returned, "her father, mother, and brother detaining her and not allowing her to come in the power of her husband." Çoltana departed with her father from the seigneury of Castell de Castells without license of the lord, even though her husband was still living there. When Ali Mançor changed vassalage from Benimuslem to Castellón de Játiva, his wife refused to accompany him and demanded the payment of her bridewealth. The bailiff of Játiva did not quite comprehend what was happening and asserted, as a Christian might, "the wife has to follow the husband wherever he would wish to go ... and to live." Probably her confidence in and attachment to her agnates allowed this woman such freedom of choice.
Although the father's household offered a haven to a woman in case of an unhappy marriage, it also harbored the harshest judges of her sexual misbehavior. An adulterous woman's shameful behavior affected mainly the honor of her father's lineage; that of the husband's remained largely unstained. Therefore, it was the responsibility of the woman's agnates to punish her. In some traditional Arabo-Berber societies the agnates were expected to kill her, and Islamic law required that adul-
terers be stoned to death. The Valencian documentation records a surprisingly large number of cases of Mudejar adultery, in which the Islamic death penalty was normally commuted by the Christian authorities to enslavement to the king. This indicates not that Muslims involved themselves in adulterous affairs any more than did Christians, but that because the honor of the father's lineage was involved in the case of an adulterous wife—and those prosecuted were almost all women—her agnates were themselves especially eager to prosecute her so as to erase their own shame. Since royal law would not permit the agnates to dispose of the woman themselves, they had to go through the proper legal channels. Unfortunately, the documents do not reveal who brought the adulteresses before the qadi 's[*] court (the criminal penalty itself had to be executed by the local Christian authority), but, all else being consistent, the agnates, not the husbands, seem the most likely candidates.
The social origins of Mudejar prostitutes further substantiate the importance of the woman's relation to her agnatic group, for the position of such women seems to have derived precisely from their having lacked the support of their agnates. Fotayma was an orphaned maidservant maltreated by her Muslim master. She ran off with a male servant who subsequently became her procurer. Mariem had left her husband, but, because her mother was forcing her to return to him, she departed from Alacuás for the brothel of Valencia. Nuzeya of Oliva had also separated from her husband, and since her parents were dead she, too, was compelled to earn a living in the brothel. Xuxa left her husband in Villamarchante for a lover who later became her procurer. Having committed adultery, she could not hope for forgiveness from her father's family. Adulterous women and prostitutes were the outcasts of Mudejar society.
If fathers were preoccupied with the sexual conduct of their married daughters, so much more were they anxious to defend the chastity of their unmarried ones. The violation of a daughter's chastity, committed with the consent of the daughter or not, constituted an assault on the family's honor. Daughters could not bring honor to a family; they could only bring shame through sexual impropriety. Thus, Aragonese Mudejars conducting business in Zaragoza brought their daughters with them and kept them secluded in the fonduk so that they would not be "maltreated" or spoiled for marriage. The Mudejars' concern to guard their daughters' chastity in defense of family honor may be explained as a reaction to an unusual phenomenon encountered in the documentation, namely, the abduction of women. In pre-Islamic Arab society, and also to some extent among Arabs in Islamic times, women were
abducted in order to shame the victimized family. The honor of the abductor's family was at the same time increased. Mudejars in royal and seigneurial morerías also seem to have employed abduction as a tactic to disgrace their enemies. Although in some cases abduction might have been, in fact, only an elopement, which still would have shamed the father who could not control his daughter, in other cases the participation of more than one man in the abduction indicates a deliberate intention to dishonor the woman's family. Mahomat and Omeymet Maixquarn of Valldigna paid a 340s settlement to the bailiff of Játiva "for having kidnapped Çayma, Mooress, daughter of the amin[ *] of the place of Manuel." The knight Miguel Çetina was sent to the Vall de Villalonga to search for the daughter ("mora donzella") of a Muslim of Millena who had been abducted by Muslims of Cocentaina. The fate of the abducted women is unknown, but it is likely that abduction lessened their prospects for a good marriage.
The passive role of women (outside of the home at least) in the maintenance or loss of family honor was linked to the economic and local political considerations underlying much of Mudejar feuding. The primary factor at stake was the woman's reproductive power. Children, particularly sons, increased a family's economic potential, and the family with many sons and strong casabiyah[*] was a force to be reckoned with in the community. Thus endogamous marriage was preferred to keep offspring within the lineage, while if exogamous marriage was necessary, it was preferable to receive the woman of another family. The widow lost control of her own children to her late husband's family for the same reasons. Adulterous unions were frowned upon because the bastard offspring did not belong to any lineage and were of no help to anyone. Prostitutes, bereft of honor and family ties, existed on the margin of Mudejar feuding society.
Above the level of family or lineage the most important solidarity among the Mudejars was that formed by the rural village or urban morería . During the era of Islamic rule such solidarity had greater force owing to the settlement of particular localities by individual clans (thus the prevalence of "Beni" in Valencian toponyms). The dissipation of larger tribe or clan solidarities and the post-Christian conquest seigneurialization of the countryside significantly modified the basis of local identity. The Mudejar no longer identified himself as the member of a particular clan, but as the vassal of a particular lord. Seigneurial control of a rural community meant that the lord's interests largely determined those of his vassals. So long as Muslim vassals stayed put, their lords tended to defend them, but not without a large degree of self-interest (see chaps. 1 and 2). The vassals themselves acted as a unit, and appear
in the documentation as the aljama of a particular place of which a particular nobleman is lord. The community of interest between vassals, and between vassals and their lords, was necessitated by economic pragmatism and a scarcity of resources. Labor, water, arable land, and livestock were all in short supply. Efficient exploitation of available resources demanded communal cooperation, and retention of these resources required collective action for purposes of communal defense. Endogamous marriage, creating large extended families, and exogamous marriage, binding different families together, both would have served to reinforce the community's unity of purpose.
One manifestation of the ability of Mudejar communities to overcome their internal differences and present a united front to their antagonists was their aggressive and joint defiance of the authorities, particularly of those sent to their villages to make arrests or to confiscate goods. When a royal constable and other officials arrived in Callosa, where they were to collect 19,666s 8d from the Muslims for pensions owed, they discovered that the Muslims had hidden their goods in places nearby. As they were returning with the goods from one of these places, the Muslims ambushed them with a barrage of stones. Officials sent to Matet to arrest two Muslims, fugitive vassals from Gaibiel, had even less luck: "there was made a great resistance by the Moors of the said place, not only breaking open the prisons where the said constable had put one arrested Moor and carrying him away, moreover, they inflicted on the said constable many blows with swords on the staff and one on the arm by which they wounded him." Three years later the amin[*] and adelantats of Matet were still refusing to cooperate in the matter. Muslim vassals of Alcocer possessing lands in the huerta of Castellón de Játiva together cleverly constructed hidden threshing floors near the river, so that they could quickly send threshed wheat downstream without paying their agricultural taxes. When the tax collector later confiscated a horse as a pledge for the unpaid taxes, two Muslims with a lance convinced him to let the horse go.
More numerous than the instances of resistance to royal officials were the clashes between vassals of various seigneuries. Neighboring villages were frequently at odds over boundaries, possession of land, distribution of irrigation water, and other such matters that affected the livelihood of their residents. Conflict of interests issued in the courts as litigation, but not infrequently took on the more sinister aspects of theft and violence. Animosity between lords also soured relations between their vassals. It is often unclear whether the actions of vassals against communities nearby were perpetrated with the consent and direction of their lord or whether the vassals took action of their own accord. For the most part one can probably presume a concurrence between lords and
vassals in such affairs, inasmuch as any gains or losses sustained by the vassals were also felt by the lord.
A brief description of the difficulties and hostility faced by the vassals of some seigneuries should provide some sense of the necessity for communal cooperation and a minimal degree of cohesion. The Muslims of Llombay's marketing of their wheat in Alcira seems to have threatened the interests of some Muslims of the town's morería . Litigation ensued between them, and the bailiff of Alcira confiscated the wheat and pack animals of Yuçeff Carroff of Llombay. A decade later eight Muslims of Llombay murdered a rival of Alcira just outside the walls of the town, which suggests a long-term dispute. Llombay's bailiff and Muslims also rustled livestock from the pastures of neighboring Carlet, for which crime the residents of Carlet planned to enter Llombay and take action. The vassals of Carlet had already been involved in a more serious dispute with Alcudia, which had resulted from the feud between their respective lords, Gaspar de Castellvi and Pere de Montagut. The latter and two henchmen killed Silim Bono of Carlet and wounded his son. Muslims and Christians of Carlet retaliated by wounding a Christian miller and killing a farmer in Alcudia. The feud was finally resolved when Montagut married Castellvi's daughter. Some conflicts were more one-sided. The attack of the brothers Ferrer with their squires and Muslim vassals so terrorized the Muslim residents of Faldeta that they deserted the place.
Perhaps the most frequent cause of strife was a community's misappropriation of irrigation water, which placed in jeopardy the crops of other communities in the vicinity. The lord of Alginet complained that his village was "perishing" because the officials, including the amin s[*] , of the Foya de Llombay were not allowing the water to flow as accustomed. The consequences of such disputes could prove dire, such as the one between Antella and Sumacárcel over "a bridge or a duct of an irrigation canal," which provoked Muslim and Christian vassals of Antella to kill Çahat Torraboni of the rival village.
At the local level Mudejar society displays two conflicting tendencies: on one hand, fragmentation, as manifested in the feuding relations between rival family or lineage groups; and, on the other hand, a reflexive solidarity necessitated by the struggle between communities over the possession of scarce natural resources. The former tendency was rooted in traditional Arabo-Berber modes of social organization. The sources of the latter tendency are more complex, for the importance of seigneurial rivalry and the role of Christian vassals in the strife between communities disallows a description of local solidarity as a purely Mudejar phenomenon. Nevertheless, it is evident that the Muslims inhabiting individual villages were able to unite when the livelihood of the entire
community was threatened, even if at the behest of their lord and in conjunction with their Christian neighbors. That such was the case perhaps can be explained in part by the ability of Arabo-Berber segmentary societies to amalgamate when necessary, as well as to atomize.
Considerable space has been devoted to a discussion of Mudejar social structure and to an analysis of Mudejar feuding relations not only to provide some insight into life within the morería below the surface of the Muslim-Christian interface but also to make a point crucial to the understanding of the remarkable tenacity with which the Mudejars and, later, the Moriscos adhered to Islam despite considerable pressures, both informal and formal, to the contrary. The point is that for the Mudejars religious conversion involved much more than a change in their religious beliefs, a change radical enough in itself; it demanded a fundamental alteration of their social attitudes and social organization. The Mudejars were shielded from the allure of Christianity not only by their profession of a faith as exclusive as Christianity but also by the vitality and structure of their subsociety, which was founded on social practices and assumptions distinct from those of their Christian neighbors. While Mudejar feuding in its outward bloody manifestations did not differ from Christian feuding, the social significance Muslims ascribed to it and the family structures and system of values on which it was based were distinct. The feud as a process of status determination was group-specific, functioning in its very intensity to reinforce traditional attitudes and structures. Moreover, religious belief and social practice were largely coterminous, so that the Mudejars' distinct social customs were as much a sign of their "Moorishness" as was their belief in the oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad. For instance, conversion to Christianity would have meant a prohibition of the practice of endogamous marriage (between first cousins), a custom sanctioned by the Prophet and essential for the maintenance of their Arabo-Berber social structures. The frequent and often friendly meeting of Muslim and Christian on the neutral ground of marketplace or tavern no more resulted in a merging of their different forms of social organization than it did in religious syncretism. Indeed, Mudejar social behavior, particularly the marked propensity for feuding—or at least the style and dynamic of that feuding—was sufficiently different so as to evoke comment from among the Christians. Francesch Centelles, a shoemaker well acquainted with the Muslims of Valencia's morería , when asked to testify in court about the character of Abrahim Murçi, responded in a manner that suggests that the feuding Mudejar had become a stereotype: "he is a man who seeks fights and quarrels, like any other Moor."