TRADITIONAL ARTS AND CRAFTS
AS WITH ANY OTHER TYPE OF HANDICRAFT, THE UTENSILS
related to the traditional crafts of the Alentejo have passed from generation to generation to the present day. These are very pure traditions that are usually related to the manual production of day-to-day utensils of old.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE TRADITIONAL
arts and crafts that marked the rural territory of Serpa are mirrored in the diversity of occupations and trades inherent to the production of essential goods used in local life, which demonstrate the accumulation of technical knowledge related to their manufacture.
In Serpa, the traditional trades were based on subsistence farming and community ways of life. The profound changes in rural life, which occurred from the second half of the twentieth century onwards, led to the decline of many of these trades, most of them related to the production of utilitarian goods.
Among the arts and crafts still practiced in the municipality stand out the "roupeiros " (cheesemakers), in the art of making the Serpa cheese, acknowledged for its taste and texture; the cobblers, who still repair and manufacture footwear in their workshops; the carpenters, useful for minor repairs; and the (now few) chairmakers, who weave the backs and seats of the typical wooden chairs out of bulrush.
Other craftsmen are still working; their artefacts, once utilitarian, are now mainly considered decorative objects. This is the case of pastoral art made from wood, cane or cork and the lace, embroidery and other woven items made by the women, all of which are still available to the visitors wandering the streets of Serpa.
Other of the municipality’s craftsmen, such as the abegões (wagon carpenters), correeiros (leather craftsmen), tinsmiths, blacksmiths, potters and tailors - all of them masters in their art and in the perfection of what they created - did not withstand the evolution of the times and these crafts are now very rare in the region.
Serpa offers its visitors information on the crafts and their related arts at its museological sites, which approach the traditions and customs of the local communities. These sites seek to restore the dignity of these trades, awarding a new dimension to the memory of artisans and their crafts, activities that played a significant role in the development of the social and economic fabric of the municipality of Serpa.
VALE DE VARGO ARTISANS
VILA VERDE DE FICALHO ARTISANS
VILA NOVA DE SÃO BENTO ARTISANS