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The Museum’s Collections.

Household Units: Kitchen. 

Ceramic Jugs. 

Feature: Red clay. 

Technique: Round and moulded piece. 

Description: Bulgy jug with slight edged neck and vertical ribbon wing.

Function: Utility ceramic piece. They were carried on the head, usually by women, and were used to collect and transport water from public fountains and springs.

The fountains were cultural spaces, spaces of sociability, both in urban and rural areas. The women gathered there to talk and, often, to date. The imaginary brings us legends of enchanted Moors and "pure maidens" in search of love, who went to the fountain to fetch water, leaving their wailings and disappointments there.

The fountains were also a "party place", where people sang and danced; they even constituted symbolic places in certain cyclical festivities, as was the case with popular saints. On St. John’s Eve, the fountains were decorated with "holy herbs" (giant-reed, myrtle, palm, boxwood, laurel and rosemary) in order to bless the water, since people believe that water has special virtues that night.

Credits: Madeira Ethnographic Museum

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