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Alentejo Mantas

WEAVER

ALENTEJO – PORTUGAL

 

At the foot of the medieval village of Monsaraz, between the fields and vineyards of the Alentejo, the small town of Reguengos de Monsaraz concentrates the economic activity of this rural region of Portugal.
Behind the walls of the whitewashed workshop, five concentrated workers are busy with century-old crafts. There were 50 of them in the 1930s.
Always the same machines, the same gestures, the same chopping noise; the same patterns, the same deep and vibrant colors on these “mantas” (blankets) which the shepherds once covered themselves with to protect themselves from the cold.
Mizette, a haughty Dutchman who arrived in the 1960s, took over the almost abandoned factory at the end of the Revolution.
Thanks to her, this heritage of adoption – recently passed on to Portuguese entrepreneurs – lives on: experienced weavers pass on their expertise to the youngest, traditional patterns are enriched with new designs, “shocking pink” and other new colors are introduced at the request of her world wide customers…
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