January 23, 2014

From Viana with love

Olá! Today I bring you something very special... Definitely this is a Portuguese story... And as we would say in Portuguese: a história de uma mulher do Norte - "the story of a woman from the North"...

Sometime ago I told you how the Traditional Embroidery of Viana do Castelo was so intricately interwoven with the story of many women. And how the birth of what we recognize today as this regional embroidery helped so many of them find a new way of life - that is still deeply rooted in the culture and the traditions of the North of Portugal.

Teresa embroidering and wearing the domingar costume (to be used on Sundays)

The story of Teresa, that I bring you today, bears some resemblance to the one I told you before. This is also a love story for Viana and again a proof that with courage and talent we can change our lives.

An original Christmas crib winner of a contest promoted by the municipality of Viana do Castelo

Teresa was born in Viana do Castelo and the traditions, the culture and the folklore of this region were always present in her daily life since she was a little child. As happens with other women and men from this city, Teresa waited, and still waits, all year for the festivities dedicated to Our Lady of Agony, Romaria da Senhora D’Agonia, one of the most rich and genuine ethno-folklore festivals of our country. These are special days, when Teresa proudly wears the folk costume made by her own hands and holds the famous gold jewelry while the colorful folk dance groups musically enliven the ambiance and invite everybody to dance (be sure to follow this last link and watch how common people follow the dancers and fully enjoy it).

An embroidered brooch inspired by the skirts of folk costumes

Embroidery came into her life, by the hands of her mother, so naturally as all the other cultural traditions from Viana did. Inspired by the lively colors of the costumes - the bright red, the shining gold - and by the embroidery that decorated the linens of the house where she was born, Teresa discovered this new way of living. After some years teaching arts and technology to children she decided to devote her life to reinvent Traditional Embroidery of Viana do Castelo creating embroidered accessories that adorn our days: key holders, brooches, small cushions, beautiful frames, wedding favors...

Details of Teresa's stitching

Viana é amor, a popular saying that means "Viana is love", justifies the massive presence of Viana's heart in the crafts and culture of this city. That special heart is everywhere... In the noble art of filigree, in gold jewelry works, in embroidered table linen. For many, the heart of Viana even became one of the symbols of Portugal. Teresa elected the Viana's heart as the symbol of her work - Artesatébecause in Viana, quem gosta vem, quem ama fica - the one who likes comes, the one who loves stays.

Viana's heart - the symbol of Artesaté's work

Teresa feels that her life is unique and special because she was born there, in that special place, where the river meets the sea under the eyes of the hill of Santa Luzia. And Teresa, believe me, has developed the art of bringing to each piece of her work this uniqueness that only someone who belongs to a special place may have... Each stitch tells a story of joy, color and love...

Viana in gold

"Viana is more than a city, it's a way of living... a way of being that lies deep in the soul and the blood of those who were born there..." These are Teresa's words and she reinforces; "That's what I am".

Note: While writing this post I was thinking about how our culture and traditions are such a supreme form of richness that we must preserve for our own good and for the future happiness of our children. Portuguese history and the story of so many Portuguese women are the living proof of this...

1 comment:

  1. Bom dia e muitos parabéns à Gabi pelo fantástico artigo e à Teresa pelo trabalho fabuloso que se pode ver. Ambas trabalham com o coração e o resultado não poderia ser melhor! Obrigada