Real y Venerable Hermandad de Nuestro Padre Jesús Resucitado y María Santísima de la Cabeza
These days, the procession leaves the church of Our Lady of La Cabeza on the morning of Resurrection Sunday, although it used to be a ceremony in two stages, marching down to the church of La Asunción on Easter Saturday and returning to its own shrine on the Sunday. The present-day route is: the church of Our Lady of La Cabeza, Estación, Málaga, Ancha, Río, Carrera de las Monjas, Palenque, Lozano Sidro and back to the church of Our Lady of La Cabeza.
This procession evokes the start of spring, both in the decoration of the tronos, or platforms which bear the icons, and in the robes of the participants. Both tronos are carried on the shoulders of bearers -- 40 for the image of the Virgin, which is covered by a canopy, and 45 for the figure of Christ Resurrected. The supporters are predominantly young, and wear a white tunic with a sky-blue cloak.
A band of 14 drums, 3 bass drums, and 13 cornets was formed in 1976, and first escorted the procession in 1977. The rhythm they beat out is the creation of Antonio Martín Alba and Francisco Díaz, while the cornet parts are variations on popular tunes, or the band’s original music.
The Brotherhood of the Virgin of La Cabeza dates back to the sixteenth century -- it was founded in 1573 in the shrine of San Sebastián, now known as the church of Our Lady of La Cabeza: the figure of Christ Resurrected has long been associated with this site.
This church guild was at its peak between 1580 and 1610: in 1586, to coincide with a visit by the Marquis and Marquesa, the Fuente de la Salud was built as a well-head for the spring which served Priego, and a figure of the Virgin of La Cabeza was placed in an alcove in the rock.
In the eighteenth century, the statutes of the cofradía were lost, although the observance of ceremonial occasions continued during the nineteenth century, until the church was demolished. In 1977, the organisation was reformed, with the aim of re-establishing the Resurrection Sunday morning procession: new statutes were drawn up and approved by the clergy, which emphasised the youthful character of the cofradía and its members.
The cofradía has organised a pilgrimage in honour of the Virgin of La Cabeza every June since 1976.
The figure of the Virgin dates from the sixteenth century, although it was extensively restored in the eighteenth century: it is an exquisite, delicate image in a traditionally elegant style.
The figure of Christ is carved in the Mannerist style, and is thought to be the work of Pablo de Rojas in the sixteenth century: Jesus is represented without a shroud, with only a white gown, which reveals his naked torso. The image has undergone several restorations, one by Antonio Vizcaíno and the most recent by Cristóbal Cubero.