Etnographics in Taramundi

The route of water, fire and iron

Etnographics in Taramundi

In order to understand our present century it would be any helpful to have a look back over the last two or three centuries. To do a comparative analysis between the present and the past is tough work and oral tradition and notes about land by etnoghaphers and anthropologists play an important role.

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Perhaps during 200 or 300 years there may not have been a big change in the way of life. But the results of some contemporary inventions have changed the natural rhythm of history. The newer of the post-feudal Asturian towns can appear to be of an ancient style giving these places a natural splendor. The main function of the community working together with great effort, was to improve the quality and strength of their clothes to get enough forces to grind the grain, to sharpen and mould the iron. A little later on, they would also generate electric light.

In the council of Taramundi, and among all of western Asturias the inventiveness of these towns was spreading rapidly over the waters. The efficient running of these lands, the inclination of territory, the rain, and the abundance of iron caused this region to make intelligent use of the natural environment reducing, in this way, manual labour.

The ethnographic whole of Os Teixois

The ethnographic whole of Os Teixois shows common concerns that still grab our attention today. In this place one can find a country house, perfectly preserved. The maintenance of this place and some of the recent restorations have proved valuable. The best choice is just to go and live it, because it is difficult to understand without actually seeing it. The fact that water runs a mill, a stone for sharpening and a metallurgy factory can not leave us indifferent. The use of primary elements such as fire and water serves as a reminder of how useful they were for progress and how we usually take them for granted. The 18th century peasants were aware of the importance of these elements, in fact, this hydraulic point was used by the whole of the community, and without it, people could not have survived the famines or cultivated the soil. Neither clothes nor footwear could have been improved either.

The modern demography is the result of the improvement in quality of life. We can imagine how hard life would have been for those people from Teixois, without enough strength to pull everything and move things more than 20 kilograms by themselves. Hydraulic power meant that they could lift and move things by pulling once on a rope and letting the water do the work.

The canals and hydraulic wheels were the life force of this community, and a walk through this site proves it.

Museum of Esquíos

In Taramundi we can also follow the old methods of production and view hundreds of objects belonging to that time. It is advisable to make a visit to the Museum of Esquíos. A little town that has always been inhabited by families who worked with iron. The great variety of tools on display there are a great treasure. El cabazo (a type of granary) belonging to the 19th century can be found on the outskirts and is unique in decoration and beauty.

The etnographic whole of Taramundi is completed with the Museum of the mills in Mazonovo. One can grind using reproductions of Celtic, Roman, African and Chinese mills… pumping water and generating hydraulic energy with our own hands.

After visiting this circuit, one leaves thinking that technology does in fact not belong to us, that it was created when humans appeared for the first time on earth, and of course, we should give thanks to nature for improving our lives. Can one imagine a world without water or gravity?

Fotos: oficial web Os Teixois.

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