Extractive Activities


The products resulting from livestock, agriculture and fishing circulated from the countryside to the city and within the city itself, thus emerging the street vendors, individuals who transported and sold them through the streets.

They placed their products in baskets, trays, boxes or bundles, which they carried on their shoulders, heads or arms. When the load was heavy, they were transported with the help of vehicles pulled by animals, such as the cart, the wagon or on the animals’ backs. Nowadays, due to the development of communication routes and market requirements, these vehicles have been replaced by automobiles.

Some used horns, whistles or street-cries to signal their passage through the streets, or knocked on doors, singing out their products.

The fish sellers, the so-called pesquitos, wandered the streets, early in the morning, with the wooden vessel at the head - a wooden low-walled tub painted in bright colours -, which rested on a curled cloth pad to soften the discomfort and help to balance this artefact on the head, while walking.

They went through the streets, shouting their cries, enumerating the species of fish they had available, namely tuna slices, rolled black scabbardfish or mackerel and blue jack mackerel, threaded through the gills in a green wicker ring or other resistant vegetable fibre.

Credits: Madeira Ethnographic Museum