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PATRIMONIO MUNDIAL PYRÉNÉES-MONT PERDU

Paisaje: naturaleza y cultura

Traditional crafts and trades


Traditional techniques for processing plant, animal and mineral materials have survived through to the present day in the World Heritage Site area, though far fewer people now employ them. Even so, most of the older people in the area still remember them and know how to use them.

With regard to food, one crucial process was milling cereal grain to make flour to make bread and other foodstuffs. Mills driven by rivers and streams in flood were used to mill the flour, which was used to make flour by women in their homes. The flour would be sieved, yeast would be added and the dough kneaded and then left to prove before being baked in the domestic oven.



In damp areas, people would sow hemp which, after a long process to make it useable, was employed to make nets and other items used for transport purposes.
Wool was used for making clothing. Once the sheep had been shorn, the wool had to be washed, carded, gathered into tufts and then spun using a distaff and fuso (spindle).



Basketry was a trade generally pursued by people who travelled from village to village. Whenever a family wanted the basket maker's services, they would prepare the bimbres (withes) in readiness for being turned into baskets, cots or other items.
Saddlers used tanned leather to make items required for handling horses, such as collars, harnesses and packsaddles.
Smiths would make and repair tools used in the field, would shoe horses and would fashion objects for household use such as pots or balcony railings.
To heat the forge, smiths required charcoal, which was usually made locally in traditional charcoal pits by piling up wood, covering it with earth and then setting fire to it at the bottom so that it gradually carbonised.



Carpenters used wood for making furniture and farm implements. In the Vió and Puértolas valleys, box was quite common and was generally employed only for making kitchen items such as spoons, forks and even mortars.



With regard to construction work, professional builders were not the only experts, as many people knew how to hew stone and lay tiles on roofs.
It was also common for limestone to be fired in small lime pits to make the lime used in the render that filled the gaps between the stones in walls and which was also employed to 'whitewash' the interior of people's homes.


With regard to construction work, professional builders were not the only experts, as many people knew how to hew stone and lay tiles on roofs.
It was also common for limestone to be fired in small lime pits to make the lime used in the render that filled the gaps between the stones in walls and which was also employed to 'whitewash' the interior of people's homes.