The flax craft work, highly recognized for the quality of the pieces elaborated on the loom.
The Council of Ribeira de Pena is identified by the flax craft work, highly recognized for the quality of the pieces elaborated on the loom, by excellent weavers from the villages of Cerva and Limões. In this last one, was created the Weaving Group of Limões and after, in the same building, was installed by the Municipality of Ribeira de Pena, the Center of Interpretation-Museum of Flax.
This Museum have the objective to promote and streamline the traditions linked to the craft work of flax, the historic and ethnographic research as well as the touristic attraction of this tradition. Intends to ally the traditional with the new multimedia and the visitor is conducted by the cycle of the flax up to the Weaving Group, where is allowed to visualize and experiment the loom works, knowing this way the details of the secular tradition, transmitted by the practice and orality between women of several generations along the centuries.
For the management of the Museum it was also established a protocol between the Municipality of Ribeira de Pena and Weaving Group of Limões - Handcraft Cooperative (that is also led by women).
The referred protocol is a written document defining the support that the Municipalities gives to the Cooperative, through the transference of space at the Flax Museum, for functioning the workshop of linen handcraft, where the artisans can work the flax and sell their products. The workshop is framed in the permanent exhibition of the Museum.

Resources needed

The creation of this Museum was supported by the Regional Operational Programme of North Region 2007-2013/ON2: around 157.000€ specifically to the Museum of Flax. The current management is ensured by the Municipal annual budget.

Evidence of success

It was ensured the conservation of the building (300-year-old, representing the rural/agrarian history), of looms and materials related with the flax pieces production. There is a social benefit: tourists/visitors contact with the weavers/cooperative, direct sales and orders of articles. In 2019 the Flax Museum had 920 visitors. The Mention of Honour (by the Portuguese Association of Museology in 2017, was due the partnership Flax of Cerva and Limões created with the SME VERde NOVO.

Difficulties encountered

Nothing to refer.

Potential for learning or transfer

This Museum of Flax is part of the Ecomuseum of Ribeira de Pena, that intends to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the community, as well as promote and stream cultural action. The Ecomuseum is a poli-nucleus museum, with different museums (Venda Nova Museum; House of Camilo; House of Culture-School Museum; Center of Interpretation-Museum of Flax; Center for Regional Studies; Space Santa Marinha; House of Ore-Museum of the Wolfram; Center of Green Wine), installed in structures of great significance in the identification and valorisation of the heritage. It was installed in a small village, Limões, that it one of the main centres with rooted tradition in the production and weaver of flax. In a way to involve directly the community and weavers, it was established a protocol between the Municipality and the Cooperative of Artisans. In the sequence of this work was awarded, in 2017, with and Honour Mention in the Annual Awards of the Portuguese Museology Association (APOM).
Project
Main institution
Ecomuseum of Ribeira de Pena
Location
Norte, Portugal
Start Date
June 2014
End Date
Ongoing

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