The mission of this museum is to gather, guard, conserve, increase, investigate, communicate and disseminate the tangible and intangible ethnographic heritage of the Western Community of Asturias.
It also seeks to be the true reflection of the creative spirit of the stages of life of how many people have preceded us over time, and all this, aimed at a broad and diverse public.
The Ethnographic Museum of Grandas occupies an approximate area of about 3.150 m², and its permanent collection is composed of more than 11.000 objects, which have been acquired by donation, a part of them by the residents of Grandas de Salime, or by purchase by the Consortium.
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Map: how to get to Ethnographic Museum of Grandas de Salime
The Ethnographic Museum of Grandas de Salime is one of the most unique museums in Spain. And it is because in its own way it has been a pioneer in rescuing for public exhibition objects and tools of a rural life that were often outside the museum motifs and were not interested in collectors. It occupies what was the old Rectoral House of Grandas, which was rehabilitated for this purpose, conserving popular architecture. In this large building the nostalgia of things that many knew, conjugates with the astonishment for so many young generations who have little idea of how they managed in the rural world. There are also those in charge of analyzing and protecting the heritage, who come to the museum to take note. The idea of José Mª Naveiras Escanlar, known as "Pepe El Ferreiro", has been well received by everyone since he got involved in this foray into time, back in the 1984 year. It is about a lover of his land that has been gathering and studying numerous samples of popular crafts for more than thirty years.
What does the Grandas Museum treasure?
Memories, scholars and profane alike enjoy this untold maremagnun of things that end up becoming solid facts of another time. Not in vain is one of the most visited museums in Asturias with an 20.000 annual visits. Store and expose more than 3.000 traditional instruments of all kinds, and it grows every year, or every day, with continued contributions from individuals and administrations that make it a living organism, with its skeleton, joints, muscles and vital organs in permanent change. Its border location between Galician and Asturian lands it enriches this permanent legacy even more. On both sides, goods are arriving to collaborate in the collective memory of a large, orographically complicated and culturally very prolific region.
Everything is distributed in the different rooms of the house: kitchen, tool store, distillery, bedroom, stables and auxiliary buildings such as hórreo and panera. The inanimate objects take on a certain life and meaning grouped by themes, activities or specific places of the rural habitat and the traditional house. On the first floor we are the "lareira" or kitchen, habitual place for the scarce leisure that the people of the field had. Along with the domestic trousseau stand out in the "lareira" bench seats, with its attached table; the oven with its tools, kneading trough, the conqueiro, espeteira or basal, with the shelves that house the crockery, mostly made of wood; the "trobo da colada", a hollowed chestnut trunk that placed on the "dala" or "coladoiro", was used to wash clothes by cooking ashes and passing it through the clothes inside the trobo.
En the loom room, destined to the textile industry, we discovered the tools to make the wool, the linen and two loom looms. We pass from this dependence to room or room, place that served as a common bedroom and dining room for the days of celebration that brought together several neighbors. A sober furniture consisting of two iron beds, a table, chairs, stools, a sink, a chest for clothes, oil lamps, photos of the ancestors and pictures of sacred images.
On the staircase that leads to the ground floor we stumbled two important collections: one of yokes and another of zapicos, for the sharpening stone the scythe. At the end of the staircase, already on the ground floor, a small shoe shop with the tools of two shoemakers in the town. To the left we enter a cellar with an authentic smell of oenological tradition. In front of us the door is opened by which we access the multipurpose room, which has on the left the forge and carpentry to the bottom on the right a whole room dedicated to wooden footwear. Instruments of popular medicine, weights and measures, tools for hunting, fishing, beekeeping ... are available in this same room.
Other works of the museum
The museum carries out research work in crops and crafts that he intends to recover, with live demonstrations of the work of torneiro, ferreiro, madreñeiro, cesteiro, handicraft of the loom, and many other activities.
Strolling through this museum is to participate, refresh the memory for some and imagine what was never known to others. When we focus our attention on something in particular, we gradually assimilate its function, based on common sense or explanations; we understand then that everything was already invented, however rustic the ingenuities of another time may be. The constant depopulation of the field, the change in the forms of work and the means of production propitiated the almost disappearance of these instruments that we see and that our eyes, thanks to the museum, manage to get out of oblivion for a long time.
The trunk of memories It shelters a small portion of generational emotion, and could well serve as a simile on a scale for this immense rural treasure chest that is the museum. The old photographs illustrate habits, life forms, family relationships, economies, but if we surround these with the materials and elements that made the life of our ancestors possible, the portrait ceases to be a distant entity and collects real and contemporary sense. Observing the past in Grandas de Salime serves to fill with content the present of our visit and to archive in our experience a history that belongs to us.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com
Information of interestDirection:
Avda. Del Ferreiro, 17
33730, Grandas de Salime
Telephone: 985 627 243
Further information: Museum of Grandas de Salime