Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Maxi Vicente Cea

was born in Miranda de Ebro in the province of Burgos, on 03.26.1959 and died on 11.09.2015 in S'Arracó.

He arrived in Mallorca on a Spanish warship in January 1978. He was a mechanic. His first destination was the Naval Base of Sóller and subsequently the base at Porto Pi, along with seven other minesweepers.
His visit to the island coincided with the “last battle" in defense of Dragonera, and he immediately felt empathy with the young people and their fight to save it. In 1981 he left the Armed Forces alleging "lack of military spirit". He went back to civilian life, graduated from nautical college and decided to take up residence in Mallorca and become a Majorcan. He settled in Cas Concos (Felanitx) and by the year 1984, encouraged by his friend Manolo, he landed in  S'Arracó, which was where he was to spend the rest of his life.
It was while studying seamanship that his creative spirit awoke, and he started designing and creating objects, toys and jewelry, mostly from recycled materials. He became a member of the Municipal Choir of Andratx, and his drawings were used to illustrate the booklet published to mark the tenth anniversary of the Choir in 2000. He was currently preparing the illustrations for its twentieth anniversary. 
With the Andratx Municipal Band Maxi played the trombone; as a percussionist, he was part of the Folk Group, Aires d'Andratx, and was also a drummer in the band of Xeremiers of the City de Mallorca. He was a founding member of the Cultural Association Caparrots of S'Arracó, and he worked on the restoration of the giant figures. In recent years the aims of the association has been to dynamize the village festivals and revive local traditions. He also took part in the Parish council and was a member of the parish choir. A great lover of nature with a passion for organic gardening, for seven years he ran the garden at the primary school Els Molins, and taught the children of S’Arracó the respect of nature and the love of plants.

A self-taught percussionist, in 2000 he made contact with the African Master Seydou Sissokho and began taking classes in Djembe. In 2001 he traveled to Africa for the first time, and two years later returned once again. It was on his third trip to Senegal when a friend who knew of his interest in ecological farming took him to a school in a suburb of Dakar to lend a hand at creating a small school garden. The experience at the primary school El Hadjíi, in the La Gueule Tapée, Dakar, sensitized him to the needs of the community. He returned very thoughtful, and decided he must do more to help.

After raising 600 euros with a musical event held in S'Arracó he returned to Dakar in 2007 with the money.  The small sum meant a big difference to the school. In the last year of his life he began raising money again, having decided to revive the project and continue to help, while inspiring others to get involved and increase the donations and effectiveness of the aid. To this end he set up his stand in the S'Arracó market on Saturdays.  The stand, overflowing with plants, reflected his creativity and became a focal point for the village children, who learned with him how to float gourds in water to make simple drums, or create simple toys with sticks and string. He was a man that no one in the village will forget.

 Journalist and photographer Lorenzo Gutierrez added:

"He had a serious demeanour, and his way of understanding life came from deep Castilian roots, he spoke with conviction and showed respect for the land, the people and their customs. When he first arrived he had never seen a Majorcan before in his life but he had no hesitatation about dressing in traditional peasant costume, setting to work to revive local traditions such as "joc de s'embutat", or playing the drums with the "xeremiers", or starting a small garden to teach the village schoolchildren to work the earth, trying to compensate for the gap that has opened up in the transmission of ancestral knowledge from father to son. He was to be seen in every popular celebration, playing games, dancing, making music; it was touching, to see a “Majorcan” speaking with the accent and vocabulary of Burgos, enthusing about everything around him.

 . . . We'll miss you, Maxi.”


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